Soft dismissals were ‘disappointing’ says Proteas batter VerreynneDecember 26, 2022
Kyle Verreynne, South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the series so far, did not hide away from the fact that the Proteas suffered soft dismissals on the opening day of the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but he said the tourists’ batsmen were still in a positive frame of mind.
South Africa were bundled out for just 189 on Monday, with Verreynne (52) and Marco Jansen (59) scoring the bulk of those runs in a sixth-wicket stand of 112. Although both of them were caught behind the wicket in successive overs from Cameron Green, edging deliveries outside off-stump, their dismissals were far from soft in comparison to some of their colleagues.
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After being sent in to bat, South Africa’s initial collapse from 56/1 to 67/5 had been triggered by Theunis de Bruyn’s wild pull shot and captain Dean Elgar’s crazy run out.
Sarel Erwee and Khaya Zondo were both caught off drives that were over-ambitious and poorly executed, while Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada, who have scored valuable runs for the Proteas in the past, were both out to poor strokes.
‘A good space’
“In our last few innings, we’ve been getting out to a lot of good balls and the bowlers have really stuck to their plans, but today there were more soft dismissals, which was the disappointing thing,” Verreynne said after passing fifty for the third time in his 13 Tests.
“But behind closed doors, our batsmen are in a good space and we’ve been having really positive conversations. We know we have to make sure the top six puts the runs on the board and we can’t rely on our lower-order to do it.
“We put pressure on Australia with the ball in the last innings in Brisbane, so we have a lot of confidence that our bowlers can do the job. But it’s a pity that we rely so much on them.
“It would be nice for the batsmen to put a good target on the board for them for a change. But you have to give credit to the Australian bowlers, we had a big partnership and put pressure on them, but they stuck at it.”
With far less conventional movement on offer than in Brisbane, cross-seam deliveries were one of the vehicles the home attack used to great effect on Monday. None more so than Green, who claimed a career-best 5/27 in 10.4 overs.
“A couple of overs before myself and Marco were dismissed, they started to go cross-seam in order to rough up one side of the ball and it felt like it was just tailing in a bit,” Verreynne said. “Not too much was happening for them, so credit to them for trying something.
“Green is a bit different to the other bowlers because he is so tall, so he gets bounce and he has the ability to shape the ball, as does Mitchell Starc.
“But Green has that bit extra and they use him in short bursts so he brings a lot of energy. It’s a luxury Australia have, so the batsmen have to make sure they’re switched on against him,” Verreynne said.