It dents your ego when lower-order scores more runs: Bavuma
South Africa's Temba Bavuma, admitted that it hurt the ego of the side as Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj batted with ease on Day 3 after the top-order had faltered. In the second Test between India and South Africa, the duo of Maharaj, who batted with an injured shoulder, and Philander stitched together 109 runs to help South Africa over the 250-run mark in their first innings, in reply to India's total of 601 for 5 declared.
South Africa were all out for 275, with Maharaj scoring 72 and Philander contributing with an unbeaten 44.
"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," Bavuma added after the day's play.
However, he chose to look at the bright side, pointing out that the track has remained firm and is still a good one to bat on.
"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."
When asked on why the South African middle order is failing to pile on runs consistently, Bavuma highlighted the inability to absorb pressure as a major reason for their dismal show.
"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."
The top-order player is also hopeful that his side can put up a better show in the next innings, after interim coach Enoch Nkwe had a long session with the team, assessing their batting performance.
"We had an honest and truthful chat with the coach. He gave us his true feelings, his true thoughts on our effort on the last two days. He was really critical of our effort. Basically, he said all that has happened we have got to find a way."
"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," Bavuma said, trying to be optimistic.
"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 said.
Also see – ICC World Test Championship points table