Temba Bavuma ©REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South Africa‘s top-order batsman Temba Bavuma said that the top-order could do better after seeing Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj added a 100-run partnership in the Pune track. All the established players failed to do well where Maharaj (72) and Philander (44 not out) stitched a 109-run stand for the ninth wicket in their 275 all out in reply to India’s 601/5 declared in the first innings.

“Look, from the guys at the top of the order, entrusted with scoring the bulk of the runs, it does kind of hurt. It does dent your ego when they (lower-order) seem to know how to go out and fight it out to do what you’re really playing to do,” Temba Bavuma said at the end of the third day.

The positive aspect was that the pitch has remained good for batting.

“I think looking forward to the second innings, there is a lot of confidence we can take in from the fact that it is not all demons out there. We just got to find a way to dominate with the bat just as India have done so,” said the batsman.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander ©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Temba Bavuma, who’s having a forgetful series, also failed to explain why South Africa’s top-order have been failing consistently in the series.

“I don’t have the answers to why it is going wrong. The obvious one is that we’re not able to put up partnerships. We have not been able to absorb and sustain the pressure that Indian bowlers have put on us for consistent periods of time. That is obviously something we will try to rectify,” he added.

However, Bavuma cleared the air why they have come in India. They aren’t here to make up numbers but give a tough fight.

“We have not come to India to lose. We have not necessarily come to India to learn. We have come to India to compete and win. That is what our goal is. Yes, we have not done it in the first Test. We have not been able to do it here in the first two and a half days, but there is an opportunity to do it going forward. Like I said, there is a responsibility for us to stake our claim and do everyone justice,” he concluded.