Newlands pitch like 2011 deck: de Villiers

Centurion Dean Elgar insists the pitch in Cape Town is no batsman's paradise, while AB de Villiers says it reminds him of the surface at the same venue on which pure chaos unfolded in 2011.

AB De Villiers, right, congratulates centurion Dean Elgar, but both admit the wicket is tough going.

AB De Villiers, right, congratulates centurion Dean Elgar, but both admit the wicket is tough going.

South Africa will resume at 8-266 on day two of the third Test, having been in the box seat to post a far more imposing first-innings total after marching to 2-220.

Australia are well placed to bat themselves into a decent position, but as some members of the current side know all too well, Test cricket is a funny beast.

Australia rolled the Proteas for 96 at Newlands in 2011, claiming a first-innings lead of 188 runs, then watched in disbelief as they were skittled for 47.

It remains Australia's lowest Test total since 1902. The hosts won the game by eight wickets.

"It reminds me quite a bit, and I'm not saying it's going to happen, of that wicket," de Villiers told SuperSport, having scored 64 and looked well set to produce his second century of the four-Test series.

"That funny Test.

"I'm not saying it's going to be wickets galore in the next couple of innings, but it played similar to that first innings. Michael Clarke made it look quite easy and then it just started going a little bit around.

"Just when you feel in you can get out, just like myself."

Elgar, who finished 121 not out after watching a collapse of 6-37 from the non-striker's end, suggested de Villiers makes any pitch look docile with the ease at which he scores runs.

"But the wicket is by no means flat," the opener said.

"It was tough out there, especially when you're a new batter in.

"This wicket has shown characteristics that batting might be tough and get tougher as the Test goes on.

"Which is perfect for us, because our bowling unit can really exploit the conditions."

Elgar was full of praise for Pat Cummins, who swung momentum Australia's way by snaring 4-7 late on day one at Newlands.

"We tried to handle him as best we could. I also thought he was quite a big threat throughout the whole day but he really hit his straps (in that last spell)," Elgar said.

"He's ultimately brought Australia back into this game."

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