IND vs SA | Dane Piedt was unlucky to get out, says Keshav Maharaj
South Africa's lead spinner Keshav Maharaj has defended his fellow spinners by saying they were unlucky to bowl in the most unfavourable time for them in the Test match. The Dolphins spinner has also singled out Dane Piedt conceding a lot of runs by saying it was impossible to do anything different.
Ahead of the first game, Keshav Maharaj exudes confidence of a different order because of his performance at the unfavourable conditions at home, and he is widely reckoned to be South Africa's most successful spinner in India. However, at the end of the first innings, things are pretty different now with Maharaj bowling no less than 55 overs for his three wickets, but what tainted the wicket tally is the number of runs he conceded - 189 runs in a Test match is no great feat.
Not only Maharaj, his fellow spinners - Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy - were equally bad too. The three spinners conceded 359 runs between them at over four runs an over on what Maharaj described as "one of the tougher surfaces" he has had to bowl on.
"You get slow turn but I felt the ball didn't really kick off the wicket. However, towards the latter part when the ball did get softer, now and then, the odd one did straighten or a little bit of bite but I think the cracks have been opening up a little bit because of the heat around. So there is a little bit of assistance coming through now as opposed to when we started or say the first day and a half. I personally judge if someone comes down the wicket and hits you, it's not a bad ball. If you are getting hit from the crease, if you are getting cut, then it's a different story. Piedt was unlucky," Maharaj was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"Whatever they tried to do in terms of putting us under pressure paid off for them. Fair play. Mayank is also very new to international cricket but he just showed the maturity of someone that... it felt like he was a seasoned campaigner and he had a simple game plan and played within his strengths. Mayank played superbly well and so did Rohit. Literally everything they wanted to do paid off, it was their day. I wouldn't look too much if they bowled badly or anything. Sen is an all-rounder, a batting all-rounder, so his contribution in his first Test went pretty well, especially in the tough conditions."
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis lost his eighth consecutive toss in Asia, a continent where losing the toss means losing the Test itself. It is virtually impossible to win a Test match against India by batting fourth and Maharaj is concerned about that. The left-arm spinner believes that toss played a big role as the wicket started slowing down as the game progressed and became favourable to the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
"I suppose the toss does play a part because you want the best possible conditions to bowl for the spinners but having said that, we could have been a little bit better at times when we did bowl. But I suppose the toss does play a large factor in terms of the outcome of the game. But we still have a task at hand in terms of bat as long as possible and try and come close to the target if possible," he added.