Manchester, Aug 26 : South Africa’s pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has backed his captain Dean Elgar’s decision to bat first in the second Test at Old Trafford despite the visitors being bowled out for 151 on day one.
After winning the first Test at Lord’s by an innings and 12 within three days, Elgar chose to bat first after winning the toss in the second Test, despite bowler-friendly cloudy conditions on offer. That seemed to have backfired instantly as the Proteas were bowled out for 151, with Rabada top-scoring with 36, coming at number nine.
“Generally, if you’re playing two spinners, then you’re going to bat first. As you’ve seen the wicket is getting drier and drier by the second. It’s day one and it’s really dry and it’s quite slow. Simon (Harmer) was in the game.”
“His second ball ragged quite a bit. So I think it was the right decision (to bat first), We played two spinners for a reason, knowing it can get quite dry out there. It is what it is,” said Rabada after day one ended.
For accommodating off-spinner Harmer, South Africa left out left-arm pace all-rounder Marco Jansen at Old Trafford. Jansen had picked four wickets and made a vital 48 with the bat in the first Test at Lord’s.
“The selection issues: we had to play two spinners. But Marco is an exciting talent. He can bat. We’ve seen what he can do with the ball. He has got a lot of x-factor. Unfortunately he had to miss out. That was a team decision. It wasn’t based on his performance.”
“Simon is a top quality bowler, especially in the County Championship. He has proven that. If you had to look at the (Marco’s) replacement, it’s not a bad one. Marco has got a long career ahead of him and he is going to play a lot more games. He wouldn’t mind the rest. He is going to be playing a lot more over the years,” concluded Rabada.