'AB de Villiers is hiding, SA's best players running scared against India'

Nagpur, Nov 25: Former South African batsman Daryll Cullinan feels the Proteas batsmen are "running scared" of India in the ongoing Test series and AB de Villiers is "hiding in the middle order".

Ind-SA series photos

The visitors lost the opening Test in Mohali in the 4-match series. They trail 0-1 as the 3rd Test commenced today at the VCA Stadium here on Wednesday (November 25).

File photo: AB de Villiers returns to the pavilion after scoring 85 against India in his 100th Test in Bengaluru last week

South Africa have so far lost 27 of their 30 wickets to spin. Once again, they are set to face spin test in Nagpur with a dry pitch on offer.

The 48-year-old Cullinan, who played 70 Tests and 138 ODIs for South Africa, has questioned the approach of his countrymen. According to him, De Villiers should bat at number 3 instead of "hiding" in the middle order.

"I think AB De Villiers should bat at No. 3. It's a huge disappointment for me that our big player is hiding in the middle order. He has got to bat upfront and lead the batting," Cullinan told "The Times of India" newspaper.

"Throughout his career, de Villiers has batted in the middle order, which is the easy option. In One-day cricket too, he bats too low. In Tests, he floats at No. 4 or 5. His natural position should be No.3.

"Unfortunately for South Africa, the best players are running scared and not prepared to take the pressure. He should take the pressure and not run away from it. He is the man in form; he is scoring runs and looking in extremely good touch," he added.

The former right-handed batsman also felt South Africans were in "fear of getting out".

"There are a lot of things on their minds. They look to be in fear of getting out. They have ot to overcome that fear and defend a lot better. They have to rotate the strike. (Ravichandran) Ashwin is a good bowler but he is not (Anil) Kumble. I think they perhaps read too much into spin, read too much into pitches. They have to be lot more confident in terms of their defence," he opined.

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