Richardson, AB hope for Newlands result

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West Indies coach Sir Richie Richardson and star South African batsman AB de Villiers spoke to the media after play on day three of a very evenly poised Test match at Newlands.

Richardson’s side is putting up a fight in the third and final Test where they are 88/2 and only four runs away from wiping out the first innings deficit.

The coach said: "We have shown lots of improvement since first match. We didn't play much cricket before this series and improvement is all we can ask for. The more you play in these conditions the more you get used to them but unfortunately its a short series.

"If two of our batsmen get centuries then we are looking at a very interesting match. One or two deliveries didn't bounce as expected but you expect that is Test cricket. The batsmen made adjustments and that is what it is all about."

On de Villiers’s extraordinary 148 he surmised, "AB is a master – he is full of talent and she applied himself and showed everybody how good he is."

When asked if he was worried the side might collapse as they have in virtually every innings so far this series he replied, "You can't think negatively – if you are going to do that then we might as well pack up and go home. We aren't going to do that."

On the question of whether his batsmen are mentally weak he said, "A number of our batsmen have been getting starts and we need to work on turning those into big hundreds. They certainly have the potential but we need to work on consistency and batting for longer periods.

"We have coaches for all these things but at the end of the day its up to the player to want to go out and do that – there is only so much the management can
do. In the last Test we scored faster than South Africa so I don't believe it is a technical issue."

De Villiers was asked if the side was disappointed to not have managed a bigger lead and he answered, "I haven't spoken to the team about it but I would have liked us to score more runs – some run outs cost us.

"The game should speed up now and then hopefully we can put them under pressure. The run outs weren't about getting me on strike – they were just badly judged runs."

On the question of the surface he said, "The pitch is still alright – when you get in it gets easier but you are never one hundred percent in – there are some crack in the wicket, some balls keep low and there is enough in it for the spinners."

Talking about batting with the two newcomers to the side he said, "I was impressed with Bavuma and van Zyl. They were both very calm at the wicket – more than I was when I was younger. Temba really looked at home and he has a bright future."

On how easy he looked at the crease during a display that showed he is probably the most talented batsman in world cricket he modestly said, "From 120 to 148 I felt very comfortable because they weren't attacking me but it wasn't an easy hundred."

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