India v South Africa, 4th Test, Delhi, 4th day December 6, 2015

SA's temperament could be a slight worry for India

ESPNcricinfo staff
Sanjay Manjrekar looks back on a gripping fourth day's play in Delhi, where South Africa blocked their way to 72 for 2 in the face of an imposing fourth-innings target of 481

'Unbelievable that modern batsmen can also play like this'

Set a target of 481 by India in Delhi, South Africa played a dour game on the fourth day, setting their sights on a draw. Sanjay Manjrekar was impressed with the technique that Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers showed on the fourth evening and said it was remarkable for modern batsmen - with their exposure to ODIs and T20s - to play this sort of defensive cricket for a prolonged period.

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South Africa did not appear edgy or restless while defending

In the past, South Africa have fought their way through to combative draws and in Delhi, it's their temperament that could trouble India on the fifth day. Manjrekar stated that both de Villiers and Amla were content to block and were not looking for a loose delivery and, with Faf du Plessis to follow, India will need at least two quick wickets in the morning session to thwart the visitors.

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Pitch has become more manageable

The first session will be crucial for India from the point of view of the track as well. Manjrekar stated that the pitch had become noticeably more manageable over the last two sessions of the fourth day, a sign that the track could be a slow turner. Some moisture in the track in the morning could give India's spinners some bite.

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'Ashwin should be proud of his two wickets'

With the track easing out and South Africa playing a calm defensive game, India's bowlers were tested as they sought wickets in the second innings. Given the circumstances, Manjrekar felt that R Ashwin could be proud of the wickets he took on the fourth day - Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma.

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'Rahane one of the world-class batsmen of this generation'

That India were able to set South Africa a target of 481 was in no small part due to Ajinkya Rahane's second century of the match, a feat only four Indian batsmen had achieved before him. Apart from Rahane's adept handling of pace and spin, what impressed Manjrekar was the ease with which he could bring out the big shots, without making them seem contrived.

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