South African pacer Lungi Ngidi on Thursday said the Indians were clearly “frustrated and under pressure” as a controversial DRS call saved home skipper Dean Elgar, triggering angry reactions from the visiting camp on day three. Elgar was caught plumb by spinner R Ashwin in front of the stumps and umpire Marais Erasmus raised his finger. But the decision was overturned with the ball tracker suggesting that the ball would have gone over the stumps. There was drama and constant chatter by captain Virat Kohli, his deputy KL Rahul and ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who seemed to suggest that broadcaster Supersport TV rigged DRS on stump mic.
“Reactions like that show a bit of frustration. And sometimes teams capitalise on that. You never really want to show too much emotion, but I guess we could see clearly right there that emotions were high,” Ngidi said during the media interaction after the end of the third day’s proceedings.
A fuming Kohli showed his anger at the end of the over, going up to the stumps and saying: “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball eh, not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.”
Ashwin was also caught saying: “You should find better ways to win Supersport”, while India vice-captain was heard commenting: “Whole country playing against XI guys” Ngidi said it was clear that Indian camp was rattled.
“That probably tells us that maybe they are feeling a little bit of pressure. That was a good partnership for us as well. So they really wanted to break that partnership.
“Those feelings ended up showing there. But at the end of the day, I think everyone reacts differently to certain situations and probably what we saw there, probably how those guys were feeling at the time.” Ngidi said.
We trust DRS
Backing the DRS system, he further said: “Yes (we trust DRS).” “I mean, we’ve seen it on numerous occasions being used all around the world. It’s a system in place and that’s used in cricket,” he added.
Chasing 212, Elgar and Keegan Petersen (48 batting) put on a crucial 88-run stand for the second wicket before the skipper got out to Jasprit Bumrah at the stroke of stumps on day three.
South Africa now need 111 runs with eight wickets in hand.
“I think everyone’s still in the game to be honest with you. If we would have a 60-run partnership upfront tomorrow morning that puts us in a good position.
“But if they take a wicket then the balance shifts to them. So I think it’s perfectly poised at the moment. Tomorrow’s morning session is going to be really important.”
“We all know batting in South Africa is not easy. It’s going to be tough, but I think the team that does the best will come out on top,” he added.
Talking about the pitch, he said: “I think the ball is doing something the entire Test series. There’re patches on the wicket where if you hit it, it does something more than others.”
“But all in all, I think we could see with patience, guys can get to score hundred out there. There’s been two 70s already.
“With the right application, there are runs on the wicket. But that’s not to say as a bowler if you hit the right areas you get wicket as well. So it’s a good cricketing wicket. Everyone’s in the game. It’s pretty evenly matched in my opinion.”
We are not a team of superstars
Earlier Indian collapsed from being 152/4 to 198 losing six wickets in 46 runs. It was Ngidi, who triggered the collapse by taking the prized scalp of Virat Kohli who got out after a dogged 143-ball 29.
“We’re not going out there with a team full of superstars, we have got good cricketers, good cricketing brains. It’s always a team effort,” Ngidi, who returned with figures of 3/21 from his 14 overs, said.
“From the first Test match that was the type of language we were speaking in the change room, there are going to be moments where someone’s gonna have to put up their hand.
“If someone’s not taking wickets then you have to keep the runs down. And, if it’s your day, you make sure you cash in on that session. For me it was my session and you run with it as long as you can. On other days, it’s been KG who kept it down. So it’s been an all around effort,” he concluded.
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