We weren’t mentally prepared for India’s pacers: Hamza

South Africa's Zubayr Hamza walks back to the pavilion after being dimissed during the third day of the third and final test match between India and South Africa at Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (AFP)

After South Africa were rattled by the Indian pace duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, rookie batsman Zubayr Hamza admitted that his team-mates weren’t mentally prepared to face the quality Indian pace attack.

“I would say based on the general thought of playing in India, you would assume that it would be tougher to play against the spinners. In saying that, we knew obviously first we have to get through the quick bowlers that they’ve got,” Hamza told reporters after South Africa were reeling at 132/8 following on, still trailing India by 203 runs.

“They are extremely disciplined and professional about the way they go about doing the job. So I wouldn’t say we were under-prepared against the seamers. I will just say that maybe we should have been ready in our mind in terms of playing them in whatever conditions that we faced.”    

In the second Test in Pune, South Africa failed to show the right temperament with the bat. The story was no different here. Hamza admitted that they have a lot of questions to answer. While it was certainly not easy to handle the in-form Indian bowlers, it would have helped South Africa’s cause if some batsmen showed intent to dig in and stay for long.

“To have almost been bowled out twice in just less than two days, it’s pretty poor from our side. It’s been tough, I think we struggled to build partnerships.  From our side with the bat, we struggled in terms of in our defences, and they bowled pretty attacking lines and I think that’s been the key for them. I think we haven’t been good enough to keep those good balls off. We haven’t been good enough in terms of our defence,” he offered.

Hamza first played in India last year for South Africa A against the Board President’s XI. With his 62-run knock in the first innings, he notched up his first Test half-century in just his second Test.

“I am pretty happy with my first half-century for my national team. But overall, this has been a tough tour with lots to learn,” he said.

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