If Oz wins, mental strength of young side will be sky high: Neilsen

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Johannesburg, Mar.2 (ANI): Australia cricket team coach Tim Neilsen has said that if the visitors pull off a victory today against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test, the mental strength of the side that has many youngsters will be sky high.

"I can't see anything but us winning this game," Neilsen said after South Africa, set an improbable 454 to win, reached 2-178 at the close on the fourth day at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

"If we do win, the mental state of this young side will be over the top. I'm really excited about this young team reaching a position where we can win this Test match," Fox Sports quoted him as saying further.

Australia collapsed to 207 all out in their second innings as South Africa fought back on their best day of the match. But Australia's dominance of the first three days left them well placed to bounce back from a home series defeat against the same opponents earlier in the season.

South Africa, who trailed by 246 runs on the first innings, started solidly in their second turn with the bat, with captain Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie putting on 76 for the first wicket.

McKenzie was caught behind off Mitchell Johnson for 35 but Smith and Hashim Amla batted confidently in a second wicket stand of 54 to raise hopes of a come from behind win for South Africa even better than their 414-run chase in the first Test of the Australian series in Perth last December.

But new cap Ben Hilfenhaus struck a crucial blow when Smith top-edged an attempted pull to mid-on after hitting 69 off 110 balls.

New cap Phil Hughes top-scored for Australia with 75. He was twice given not out despite gloving balls from Morne Morkel to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, with South Africa failing to refer the decisions to television umpire Asad Rauf.

Kallis sparked the Australian collapse when he dismissed Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey off successive deliveries. Ponting pulled a short ball to deep mid-wicket and Hussey made a mess of an attempted pull to sky the ball to square leg.

Two balls later Kallis at slip dived to his right to hold a sharp edge from Michael Clarke off left-arm spinner Paul Harris.

Hughes finally fell to a sharp diving catch at leg slip off Harris after facing 121 balls and hitting 11 fours and a six.

"It was the only part of this game where we haven't been in control," said Neilsen.

Neilsen said the bowlers had not been as consistent as they were in the first innings but they had the opportunity to apply enough pressure on the final day to create the eight chances they needed to clinch a win.(ANI)

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