We didn't bowl badly, they just batted well: Maharaj

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj in action on the second day of the first Test against India in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. AFP

South African spinners had tough two days in the office as Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal took them to cleaners. Lead spinner Keshav Maharaj said conditions were tough to bowl in and lauded India's opening duo.

“It’s probably one of the tougher surfaces I have bowled on in terms of playing a lot slower and not biting as much. You get slow turn but I felt the ball didn’t really kick off the wicket,” said Maharaj. “However, towards the latter part when the ball did get softer, now and then, the odd one did straighten or offer a little bit of bite but I think the cracks have been opening up a little bit because of the heat around. So there is a little bit of assistance coming through now as opposed to when we started or say the first day and a half.

“I wouldn’t say they (Dane Piedt and Senthuran Muthuswamy) bowled poorly. They bowled really well. Mayank and Rohit just played really well. I personally judge if someone comes down the wicket and hits you, it’s not a bad ball. If you are getting hit from the crease, if you are getting cut, then it’s a different story. Piedt was unlucky. Mayank played superbly well and so did Rohit. Literally everything they wanted to do paid off, it was their day. I wouldn’t look too much if they bowled badly or anything. Sen (Muthuswamy) is an all-rounder, a batting all-rounder, so his contribution in his first Test went pretty well, especially in the tough conditions.”

Maharaj looked forward for Friday with confidence. “Test cricket is hard cricket, it’s a real test of your character. You keep motivating the boys regardless of the outcome and you stop worrying about the past and you focus and try and regroup. I’d say the first day and today’s morning session didn’t go according to plan but I thought we left all that behind and in the second session after lunch, something did happen. We got a few wickets here and there and it just sort of gave us a bit of positivity going forward but you can’t dwell on too much on the negative parts.”

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