New Delhi: South Africa opener Temba Bavuma believes that his skipper Hashim Amla has set the benchmark on how to survive as they managed to sustain the pressure put by the Indian spinners on the fourth day of the final cricket Test at Delhi on Sunday.
Amla's dogged unbeaten 23 off 207 balls took South Africa to 72 for 2 in 72 overs as the visitors look to avoid the ignominy of a 3-0 series defeat.
Asked if they have managed to rattle the in-form Indian spinners, 25-year-old Bavuma replied, "I wouldn't say rattled, but we've managed to sustain the pressure that they put on us. In all fairness, this wicket was better than all the other three wickets. I didn't play in the other three matches but from the side, this one was better. We've managed to hold them back and hopefully tomorrow we can carry on with the same."
For him, the other batsmen will have to follow the Amla-AB model of defending although it will be tough to defend for another 90 overs.
"It's a tough ask. Asking the guys to bat out 90 overs! It will be Day 5, so you're expecting the wicket to
deteriorate even more. But we have the experience and we have the skill. Whatever happens we'll be going down fighting.
"Hashim has laid down his mark. AB's also there and we still have Faf (du Plessis) and Dane Vilas. So we'll definitely be carrying the spirit into tomorrow and trying our best to try and salvage a draw out of this game," said the pint-sized opener.
On the personal front, he feels that his 34 off 117 balls has been his toughest examination in his nascent Test career.
"That was the toughest piece of batting I've had to do in my life. I always try to be positive and I always try to look to score runs. When I was put in a situation where the runs weren't the priority but the amount of time you batted out there was the key thing. That was tough for me." Although he is a middle-order batsman, he is ready to do any job for the team, especially with the England series coming up at home.
"I'm keen to do more of the opening job. I always pride myself on being a team player. So wherever the opportunity is or wherever the team feels I can fulfil a role, I'll do it. So, if I'm asked to bat No 7, I'll do that. If I'm asked to open I'll do that as well," he said.
Bavuma said that defending is not his style of batting and it becomes very difficult when one needs to change it.
"I'm always trying to be positive and looking to score, especially against spinners. When you have to go against your natural instinct then that's the toughest thing. In this match, it is not about the runs bit all about time. Batting time in a Test match is the main thing," said Bavuma.