REUTERS: South African opener Dean Elgar believes the ‘devil’ felt on the pitch at the National Stadium in Karachi, where 14 goals fell on the opening day of the first test against Pakistan on Tuesday, is largely on the batsmen’s mind.
The tourists were beaten out for 220 after winning the draw, but struggled back to keep their hosts staggered at 33 for four at the close of an exciting first day.
There were turns and a few varied bounces, but also poor shot choices on either side, while two of South Africa’s top six were exhausted trying to score in unnecessary haste.
“I felt the goal was going to be slow and low as the ball got softer and the day went on, but I don’t think it will be a day of 14 goals. There were some very soft sackings in both halves,” Elgar told reporters.
“If you apply yourself, there are no real demons in goal.”
South Africa has claimed the prized scalp of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who scored centuries in each of his last three tests, and Elgar believes it has given them a great chance to lead a potentially important first half.
“If we can imitate the way we started with the ball (in the second morning) and do it in the first hour, we will build up the pressure and the opportunities come,” he said.
“Our sprinter will provide intensity, that’s something they are proud of and is something we can control as a bowling unit.”
Elgar, who scored the most goals in the South African round with 58, was at a loss to explain his quick play and ran out of Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma in their half.
“Sometimes the cricket test can make you better and you are stuck in that moment. We have to respect that,” said Elgar.
South Africa will play two tests and three Twenty20 International on their tour, the first in Pakistan since a militant attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 in which six policemen and two civilians were killed.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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