South African coach Corrie van Zyl conceded that Virender Sehwag’s almost run-a-ball 165 unsettled his side but said the three quick Indian wickets at the fag end had brought the visitors back into the game in the second Test here.
Van Zyl said the Proteas failed to execute their plans against Sehwag and another centurion Sachin Tendulkar (106) but felt his side are still in the game.
“I think Sehwag’s innings was unsettling to everybody. The fact that he scores very quickly and obviously he gets the crowd behind him, all of that is unsettling. That is the time when you got to stick to game plans and get back to the basics. I thought sometimes we didn’t do that and that is the strength of Sehwag,” he said.
“It was a very hard day for us. Some really good batting but also we didn’t execute our game plans well. But I think those last two wickets out of which two were really big it has set us up for a good day tomorrow,” van Zyl said.
The visiting coach felt the Indians got to a 46-run lead because of the impatience of his bowlers.
“I think our patience was definitely lacking. We did apply patience at times in Nagpur. That is one thing as a team we can improve upon and that is patience as a bowling attack.
I won’t say we panicked. We need to go and understand we why didn’t execute according to our game plans,” he reasoned.
“We are happy with three wickets we took. That brought back balance to the game. We need to look at few things, set up in a few areas,” added van Zyl.
Van Zyl also hailed Tendulkar’s century — the Indian’s 47th in Tests and 91st international hundred.
“He (Tendulkar) is a special. Those are two different innings, both of them are very important. Sachin is very special, the way he plays, a workman like innings, nothing different today,” said van Zyl.
In the final session when Sehwag was on 128, replacement wicketkeeper AB de Villiers missed an easy stumping and the coach said his side missed the services of Mark Boucher.
“(Mark) Boucher is a crucial player. It is a real pity that he is not available due to his back injury. I thought AB was good, he obviously missed an opportunity and he is very unhappy about that miss because he knows what it means for the team,” said the visiting coach.
Van Zyl defended his bowlers bowling consistently outside the leg when Tendulkar and Sehwag were going strong, saying that since there was hardly any help for spinners they were exploiting the rough areas.
“You can see it as a negative line. The umpire did think so too so called it wide. Tactically there wasn’t much as turn as there was in Nagpur for Paul Harris and that is what he needed to contend with.
“Some of them did turn from the rough, some of them didn’t. You got to take the rough with the smooth, some days it works some days it doesn’t. But I still think Harris did a good job for the team but it was tougher than it was in Nagpur, where there was some assistance.”