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Back to basics, positive mindset key for Proteas in second NZ test

Proteas batting consultant Justin Sammons believes the team’s batsmen must stand up and be counted in the second Test against New Zealand starting at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday.

The batting division was absolutely sad in the first Test, scoring a combined 206 runs over two innings after being thrown out for 95 and 111, with the Black Caps all amassed 482 in their only innings.

Sammons admitted he didn’t believe it was a bad batting wicket and that the batsmen were dealing with worse conditions in South Africa.

“I thought it was a good cricket wicket, it was obviously sailor friendly, but we got out of that Indian run where the conditions were as tough as they were going to get,” explained Sammons.

“You can rely on these terms, bounce more than you can at home, but it’s not like it’s unplayable. In the end I just think that for some reason we weren’t able to handle their best balls defensively.

“Our decision making wasn’t great either in choosing which balls to leave and which balls to play on. So there are lessons to be learned in terms of the way the wicket played and the way they threw.”

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With the second test on the same terrain as the first, the Proteas will know exactly what to expect and after tasting the conditions they should be much better prepared than they were for the first test.

They will now have to put on a vastly improved show and regain some credit after being embarrassed by their most recent show.

A positive mindset will also be key in achieving their goals as the batsmen will strive to stick to the game plan and be decisive in their play.

“It’s beneficial to know what to expect because we’ve come to a location where no one has ever played before. We weren’t sure what to expect, so that’s clear now, that’s for sure,” said Sammons.

“We just have to go back to basics. Like I said, the first 30 or 40 overs are huge and if we can get through it relatively unscathed, we’ll be in a position where we can take advantage.

“So it’s really about working on game plans and the technique that will allow us to get to that point. We have to be decisive in our decision-making, we have to start well and be as strong defensively as possible.

“But that also comes with a positive attitude and that’s something I think we really need to drive home for the next test.

“You come out with a positive attitude and you get into stronger positions defensively. You are more decisive in what to play and what not to and you end up throwing bad balls. So I think that will be key for us in the future.”

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