Former Australia captain Simon Katich has termed South Africa skipper Dean Elgar’s tactics and decision-making in the second Test against Australia as “terrible”, adding that the field he set on day two at the MCG defied logic. Beginning day three on 386 for three, Australia declared their first innings at 575 for eight, leaving the Proteas with a mountain of runs to score to save the Boxing Day Test. South Africa, who were bowled out for 189 in the first innings, began their second innings 386 runs in arrears following the declaration on Wednesday.
Katich, who played 56 Tests and scored more than 4,000 runs, said had pace bowler Anrich Nortje received a little more support, things could have been different for the visitors.
“I thought Elgar was terrible yesterday (Tuesday) with his tactics and decision making,” Katich was quoted as saying by ‘SEN Radio.’ “Bowlers couldn’t build up any pressure with the fields that he set. Then they couldn’t bowl the right length with the new ball because the field (Elgar) set with a short leg and no protection on the leg side.” Katich indicated Elgar didn’t set an attacking field on a traditional MCG pitch where pacers targetting the stumps are quite successful.
“On the MCG, you attack the stumps for bowled, LBW and bringing the keeper and slips in the game. (Marco) Jansen was excellent but was hardly given the ball,” opined Katich.
Despite Nortje easily being the pick of the pacers, bowling a couple of breathtaking spells, Australia scored 331 runs on the second day and lost just two wickets, with David Warner smashing an unbeaten double century and former skipper Steve Smith hitting 85.
“Nortje was brilliant yesterday and it was all on the back of his pace and aggression and he sustained it. If Nortje had good support (the result could have been different).
“I thought (Kagiso) Rabada was disappointing as he leaked over five (runs) an over and never built any pressure. (Lungi) Ngidi probably shouldn’t have played as he didn’t build up any pressure at all,” averred Katich.
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