South Africa will go down fighting: Bavuma

New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) South Africa were on Sunday standing on the edge of defeat in the fourth and final cricket Test against India, but their opener Temba Bavuma asserted that his teammates were determined to fight till the end and conclude their tour on a positive note.

Chasing a challenging target of 481 runs, the visitors produced a gritty defensive performance to claw their way to 72/2 at the close of play on the penultimate day at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday, for the loss of openers Bavuma and Dean Elgar.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers were holding on in the middle when play was called off. South Africa trail by 408 runs with an entire day’s play still to go.

“We managed to sustain the pressure they put on us. This wicket is a bit better than the ones in the earlier three matches. I did not play in those matches but I do think that this is a bit better. Anyway, we managed to hold them back. We aim to carry on tomorrow,” Bavuma said.

The 25-year-old, however, admitted that the advantage rests firmly with India and it would be a miracle if the Proteas manage to avoid defeat.

“It is a tough ask for our batsmen to bat for 90 overs. We expect the wicket to deteriorate even more. We have the experience and skills. But whatever happens, we will go down fighting. Hashim will also be there. Dane Vilas is due to bat next. So definitely we will carry on the fight and try our best to draw this game,” he said.

Bavuma, who is playing his first match on this tour, felt that the hosts were not expecting the Proteas to be ultra defensive in their batting and are struggling to counter the visitors’ strategy.

“May be it was something they weren’t expecting. As a batting unit, we sat down just before we went on in the second innings, and decided that this was the best way to go and we will tackle the challenge ahead,” the right-hander asserted.

The diminutive youngster, who made his Test debut in 2014, informed that he found it difficult to curb his natural instincts and bat defensively, but hoped that the experience will help him to improve as a batsman.

“It was tough for me. I always try to be positive and score runs. We are in a situation where runs are not a priority. The amount of time you bat out there was the key,” said the African, who scored 34 of 117 balls.

“I took a lot of confidence from the experience. I just hope that I go on to become a better batsman from here. I am keen to do more of the opening job. Whenever the opportunity arises or the team feels that I can fulfil a role, I will do it.”

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