Batting hero Van der Dussen on why Proteas are in charge
The West Indies face the daunting task of scoring 324 runs to share the series
Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa celebrates his half century during day three of the second Test against the West Indies. Picture: Randy Brooks / AFP
Batting hero Rassie van der Dussen says the Proteas know from their own batting collapse that their bowlers will still have enough assistance from the St Lucia pitch to win the second Test against the West Indies, but if wickets do become hard to get then they know they can extort them through the age-old disciplines of line and length.
Van der Dussen scored a fine 75 not out, fighting his way to his sixth Test half-century and lifting South Africa from a deep hole at 73 for seven to 174 all out, with the tremendous assistance of Kagiso Rabada, who stroked a bright, career-best 40. That left the West Indies with a far more daunting target of 324 to share the series.
“We knew that the West Indies would already have to make their biggest score of the series and we would have been happy with a lead of 250 to 280, but then KG came in and played brilliantly,” Van der Dussen said.
“It’s the sort of pitch where you know you have to move positively and show intent. If you just hang around then you will get good balls that can get you out.
“As a batsman, you have to get into good, strong positions, even though the pitch is getting a little more placid.
“And if they do manage to put together a partnership then we will have to be really disciplined with our lines and lengths because there is a bit of assistance for the bowlers. We’ve grafted hard and played some really good cricket over the first two days, now we just need to back it up.”
The 32-year-old went through another gripping contest with West Indian bowling spearhead Kemar Roach, who finished with four for 52. Van der Dussen was bowled without playing a shot by a beauty from Roach in the first innings and said he did some important analysis between innings.
“Kemar is a world-class performer and he made it tough for me in the first innings, doing a lot with the ball. So I did some analysis this morning, just working on some different options and game-plans, trying to take lbw out of the picture and just covering the outside edge.
“I don’t mind changing things in the middle of a Test, I’ve played a lot of first-class cricket and I know my game. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing a couple of small things,” Van der Dussen said in a television interview.