South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen says his team mates must show more application at the crease if they are to beat Pakistan in the second and final test to share the series.
Van der Dussen scored a patient 64 in his side’s second innings of their seven-wicket loss in the first test in Karachi, one of the few among the tourists to get to grips with the lower bounce of the wicket and the skill of the home team’s spinners.
South Africa have passed 300 just three times in their last 25 innings on the sub-continent and Van der Dussen said they had to adjust to conditions better in the second test starting in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
“We knew we needed 350 and if we could have batted the whole day, we would have got there,” Van der Dussen told reporters of the first test, where they were dismissed for 220 in their first innings after winning the toss and electing to bat.
“It was a combination of good bowling, indecision from the new guys, and run outs that shouldn’t happen.
“In the subcontinent, all dismissals are in play all of the time. Because the ball is not bouncing over the stumps, you have to set yourself up to counter being bowled and lbw, and there are also catchers around the bat.”
There have been suggestions the Rawalpindi pitch will be more seamer friendly than Karachi, where there was prodigious turn from day one, but Van der Dussen is not so sure.
“It looks like most of the grass has been taken off and how hard they will make it is difficult to say. My first impression is that there won’t be much for the new ball,” he said.
“There was a fair amount of reverse (swing) in the first match and I think it will play the same role.”
South Africa have won 15 of their last 31 tests, losing the other 16 due mainly to their frail batting.
Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq has no qualms about tinkering with his line-up, even deciding to drop one of the spin duo of Nauman Ali and Yasir Shah despite their impressive combined figures of 14-206 in the first test.
“The weather and pitch is different from what we got in Karachi,” he said. “We are open for change if needed and it’s not compulsory to play a spinner just because he did well (in the first test).
“The conditions are likely to be different but we have to carry on with all the good things we did in the first Test and look out for the areas where we can improve.”