Dale Steyn was upset, he struggled to handle criticism, says AB de Villiers
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"The minute Dale walked to the crease, the right thing to do was to save the Test match and I thought they did that brilliantly well."
De Villiers said captain Smith and coach Russell Domingo have stressed on the achievement of the draw after South Africa made 450 for seven in the second innings on a wearing pitch, the third highest fourth innings total in the history of the game.
"At the end, we had a really good team chat, where Russell and Graeme spoke really wise words and I think the whole team is in a good space after that," the wicketkeeper-batsman added.
"We pulled up an amazing draw and those were Graeme's words. It was about just how amazing a team we are and what we've achieved over the last while.
"That we should not go down with the criticism we will get, but to remember that we are a team of character and to keep believing in ourselves and our team-mates.
"That's why we play the game - for each other. So we look each other in the eye and we are really chuffed with a great draw."
The second Test of the two-match series starts in Durban on Thursday.