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BCCI Staff in Mumbai 30 December 2013 - 02:03pm IST

We need to dig deep: Penney

India’s fielding coach expects fight from the batsmen on final day

Team India ended the fourth day of the Durban Test with a tough task of batting out the fifth day to escape a loss. With the openers already back in the hut, it is advantage South Africa. However, Indian fielding coach, Trevor Penney is confident the Indian batsmen will fight it out and survive the day.

"The mood in the dressing room is just normal,” Penney said. “Our batsmen know what their roles are and who the South African bowlers are. They have studied them and played against them. So we need to dig deep and fight the day out.

“We have played good cricket over the last couple of weeks and the team is very upbeat about the possibility of trying to bat out tomorrow," he added.

While the Kingsmead wicket hasn’t had much assistance for the bowlers, the best weapon has been seen as reverse swing. Penney said India too were depending on it.

"The bounce is a bit more variable with the old ball. We just wanted to test with reverse swing as well.” He said. “It didn’t really allow the new batsmen to settle down, as we were relying on reverse swing and thought that was the best strategy."

The Indian pacers bowled rather long spells in the fourth innings of the Johannesburg Test and when asked if that led to fatigue, Penney answered in negative.

"We batted a quite a long time in this match and then the rain began to show up in the first couple of days. So the bowlers have also had a break. It is just that the South Africans batted well in that middle period, especially Jacques who dug in for a lot of balls. He just defended and then scored off the loose balls,"

Of Ravindra Jadeja, who picked up five wickets in South Africa’s first innings, the bowling coach said, "Jadeja bowled a lot of overs and got his wickets. But it didn’t really spin, not every ball. I think we have the batsmen to deal with that," said Penney.

"Normally, the seamers are South Africa’s biggest threat, aren’t they? We have to see them off in the morning and obviously when the reverse swing comes into play. So even if we start well, the guys need to watch out as the day goes on," he said referring to Indian batsmen’s task on the fifth day.

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