Tuesday 8 December 2015 07:59, UK
South Africa skipper Hashim Amla defended his side's dour tactics in trying to bat out for a draw in the fourth and final Test against India.
Chasing 481 for an unlikely victory, the Proteas crawled to 143-9 from 143 overs before their dogged effort was finally brought to an end to earn the hosts a 337-run victory at Feroz Shah Kotla.
The South Africans were incredibly obstinate - Amla took 46 balls to score a run and stonewalled for 288 minutes for his 23 runs while AB de Villiers, who holds the record for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in one-day internationals, faced 297 balls for his 43.
Left-arm Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja sent down 17 consecutive maidens and 33 in total in taking 2-26 from his 46 overs.
But Amla said the approach gave his side the best chance to save the game.
"It would have been easy for our batters to say 'let's just go and have some fun and get some runs under our belts with those guys in catching positions'," he said.
"That gains nothing, especially when you are playing for the team, playing for the country trying to save a test match.
"Nobody wants to block, you want to score runs as a batsman. The need of the time was to try and bat as long as we can, take as many risky shots out of the equation, try and draw the test match.
"To block full tosses and half-volleys is unnatural for batting. But when it is done, you kind of appreciate the determination that somebody shows.
"AB was probably a prime example in his innings - to try and knuckle down for the team's sake. There was no selfishness involved to do what he has done for the team."
Amla suffered a miserable tour personally, scoring just 118 runs in seven innings.
"Not being able to score runs in the series certainly was disappointing for me. As a batting unit as a whole, we just did not manage to get the runs on the board," he said.
"2010 was a wonderful year for me when I was here. But sometimes cricket goes that way, so I am not going to look too deep into it."