Staring at a whitewash in the three-match Test series, South African batsman Zubayr Hamza on Monday admitted they should have been better prepared mentally before embarking on what has been a nightmarish India tour.The 24-year-old got a chance in the Ranchi Test after an injury to Aiden Markram and the youngster impressed with an aggressive 62 in the first innings — the only highlight for the visitors on a day they lost 16 wickets.”I will just say that maybe we should have prepared more mentally in terms of playing them in whatever conditions that we faced,” Hamza said at the end of day three’s proceedings in the third Test.The series also marked the dominance of Indian pacers who overshadowed the spinners at home.”Indians are extremely disciplined and professional about the way they go about doing the job. So I wouldn’t say we were under prepared against the seamers.”I would say based on the general thought of playing in India, you’d assume that it would be tougher to play against the spinners. In saying that we knew, obviously first have to get through the quick bowlers that they’ve got.”India had declared their first innings at 497/9 and bundled out South Africa for 162 for a massive first-innings lead of 335 runs.Following on, the visitors put up another spineless batting display and slumped to 132/8.”To have almost been bowled out twice in just less than two days, it’s pretty poor from our side. It’s been tough. I think we struggled to build partnerships.advertisement”So from our side with the bat I think we struggled in terms of our defences, and they bowled pretty attacking lines and I think that’s been the key for them. I just think we haven’t been good enough to keep those good balls off,” the youngster said, giving an assessment of the South African batting.Hamza added 91 runs with Temba Bavuma (32) but, apart from them and George Linde (37), no other South African batsman reached double figures.”First half century for the national side so pretty happy with that but also disappointed in the same breath, not having gone on to make use of that opportunity. And the first time that I’ve been out twice in the same day, so it’s been a tough day. Really disappointing for the side,” Hamza said.”To have almost been bowled out twice in just less than two days, it’s pretty poor from our side. I think we struggled to build partnerships.”Asked whether they got intimidated by the Indian bowling attack, he said: “I wouldn’t say intimidated, I think they bowled pretty good lengths and lines.”I think as far as experience goes, it’s good. There’s always lessons to be learned. There has to be a way that you can take some sort of learnings out of it and build confidence going forward, instead of just dwell on the negatives,” he concluded.Also Read | India vs South Africa: Umesh Yadav and the joy of watching a fast bowler at his bestAlso see:
Marking 50 years since the start of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territory, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated a call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.“Now is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel,” Mr. Guterres said in his statement on the 50 year occupation. The occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians, has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people, he said. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow-up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children, he added. Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, he stressed. “Now is not the time to give up on this goal” but is the time to return to direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, agreements and international law, Mr. Guterres said. He warned that continued settlement construction and expansion, violence and incitement and the illicit arms build-up and militant activity in Gaza risk creating a one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national and historic aspirations of both peoples. He recalled that in 1947, the world recognized the two-state solution and called for the emergence of “independent Arab and Jewish states” on the basis of UN General Assembly resolution 181.On 14 May 1948, the State of Israel was born, but almost seven decades later, “the world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state,” he said, offering once again to work with all relevant stakeholders to support a genuine peace process.