All to play for

Yesterday, the Proteas were bowled out for 421 in reply to the Windies’ first innings of 329. The Windies were on 88 for two at stumps, with Leon Johnson (37) and Marlon Samuels (26) at the crease.

Richardson, speaking to the media following the third day’s play was optimistic that with eight wickets intact heading into the fourth day, the Windies could make the final Test interesting. He insisted that they would not be harbouring any thoughts of their batting collapses of the past.

“You can’t change the past, and you can’t compete thinking about the negatives. If we are going to think like that, we may as well pack up and go home tonight. They will have to bat last and it is important for our batsmen to dig in. If two of our batsmen score centuries then we could see a very interesting match.” said Richardson.

Throughout the series the West Indies batsmen have gotten starts but have failed to go on and get big scores however Richardson is hoping they will not squander their final chance to impress in the series.

“We have to work on turning those 40s and 50s into big hundreds. A lot of the players are young and inexperienced but they have the potential,” he said. “The more the guys play, they get more use to the opposition and the conditions and certainly you would see the team playing better and better.

Unfortunately it is short series. We’ve got to learn to dig in as early as possible. We had a bad start but we’re happy with the progress we’ve been making,” Richardson added.

“We have coaches, mentors, analysts, we collect data, we assess ourselves, we have a lot of discussion but at the end of the day, it’s up to the individual to go out there and make the decision. When you look at our batsmen, we’ve scored faster than the South Africans. We have class players, we just have to be a bit more productive,” he concluded.

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