Millennium Post

Surprising strategy but will be tough for Proteas to survive: Umesh Yadav

Indian speedster Umesh Yadav on Sunday expressed his surprise at the ultra-defensive strategy employed by the South African batsmen in the fourth and final cricket Test here but reminded them that one cannot last an entire fifth day by “just blocking” deliveries.

Asked if 72 runs scored by the South Africans in 72 overs on Sunday came as a shocker, Yadav admitted that it was indeed so.

“Yes it’s a surprise as we did not think that they would play like this. The way they are defending is a surprise and they are not even trying to play a shot. Even deliveries they can score are being defended,” Yadav told mediapersons at the day-end conference.

Yadav admitted that it can become a challenge for the bowling side when the batsmen are not ready to attack.

“Yes it becomes a challenge when batsman does not play a shot as chances of getting a player out decreases. When a batsman does not take any initiative then even if you bowl a good delivery, he will just block it out. I can tell you this kind of cricket can be very boring, because you just are bowling over after over and nothing is happening,” he said.

“It becomes so boring that you start thinking as to whether something will happen or not,” Yadav said in reference to Hashim Amla’s unbeaten 23 off 207 balls.

Amla’s effort is the second least number of runs scored in the history of Test cricket for any batsman who have faced 200 deliveries.

Yadav said the Proteas would not be able to survive an entire fifth day on Monday by mere defending.

“Yes, there is pressure on them and that is the reason they are blocking everything and trying to stretch this game. Our first target on Monday morning will be to dismiss them as quickly as possible. So I don’t think that they will survive the whole day without giving any catches,” he said.

“You never know that the character of the wicket might change on Monday. On Sunday also they gave catches, but they were lucky that those catches fell in the gaps rather than going to the fielders.” Yadav said that the objective behind not enforcing follow-on was to bat the visitors out of the game. 
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