ADELAIDE: South Africa have learned lessons from the drawn first Test and are looking for their star bowlers to lead the way in this week's Adelaide Test, wicketkeeper AB de Villiers said on Sunday.
The Proteas salvaged a draw under pressure by batting out 68 overs to finish the final day of the Brisbane series-opener on 166 for five, after trailing by 115 runs in the first innings.
“The bowlers can improve and they know they can,” de Villiers told reporters.
“We had our chances, we had opportunities and we just didn't take them. There were a lot of edges and a lot of 50-50 chances didn't go our way.”
The 78-Test veteran lamented South Africa's inability to press their advantage home after having Australia struggling at 40 for three in the first innings, only for the hosts to reach 565 for five declared.
“When we had them three down early on, I thought there was an opportunity to really run through the batting line-up,” de Villiers said.
“We still created chances... we just didn't take them, which is a bit of a worry.
“But at the end of the day you're not always going to bowl a team out for 150, 200, you sometimes have to work hard. We beat the bat a hell of a lot...it looks pretty but it's not effective.
“For a really good bowling attack to beat the bat that much but not get the results is disappointing, but what can you do, it's millimetres we're talking about.
“But I believe we will improve in this Test match, we have learnt a lot of lessons.”
De Villiers said he had no problems with his troublesome back which flared up before setting off on the Australian tour.
“I felt really good in the first Test match, obviously I spent quite a bit of time on the field,” de Villiers said.
“They put us out in the field for quite a few hours and my body did really well to go through that and I think it did me extremely well, to test it out and to see where I am at at the moment.
“And I think I passed with flying colours.”
Meanwhile, Australia's injury-prone vice-captain Shane Watson will test his strained calf at training on Monday ahead of Thursday's second Test.
Veteran teammate Mike Hussey admitted he had no idea whether Watson would win his race against time and prove his fitness but he had no doubt Australia were a better team when he played.
“I believe he has been running, so that is positive,” Hussey told reporters.
“There are still three or four days before the Test match so I am sure he will be given every opportunity, being the vice-captain of our team.”