Faf: Hope we get pace & bounce

Calcutta: Faf du Plessis won’t mind at all if bowlers dictate terms in the ongoing Test series versus India, only as long as South Africa are winning.

Talking to reporters on the eve of the second Test at the Centurion, the South Africa captain said: “Sitting here as a batsman, the first priority is to win games.

“If we play in a series where the ball holds the upper hand, so be it. As long as we are winning, it’s fine.”

Du Plessis hopes the pitch at the SuperSport Park will also be assisting quicks with pace and bounce.

“The information from the groundsmen is that the grass on the wicket has been burnt from the heat over the last week. It was very hot. We’ve asked for pace and bounce, so hopefully, we will get that as they are key,” he said.

“If there was a bit of grass on the wicket, it’s fine then as we back ourselves. If it’s a low-scoring game, we’d want to get 20 or 30 or even 50 more. I expect a good cricket wicket and hopefully, pace and bounce. We prepare bowling-friendly conditions because we want to win Test matches,” Du Plessis added.

India are trailing 0-1 in the three-match series, but Du Plessis is wary of a bounce back from Virat Kohli and Co. “India, at times, were really good in that first Test. That’s why I said it was one of the best Tests I’ve played in because there were so many ups and downs for both teams.

“India were in the game for 90 per cent of that first Test, so it was a fantastic contest between two really strong teams. Their bowlers took 20 wickets, but the only part when we were a little bit better was we got more runs in the first innings. But I do expect another huge performance from them,” he said.

The hosts need to replace the injured Dale Steyn and need to finalise his replacement — Lungi Ngidi or all-rounder Chris Morris. Asked about it, Du Plessis said: “Right now, I look at Morry (Morris) as a fourth-seamer replacement.

“Consistency-wise, he has got a bit of work to do to be a third seamer. So, if you pick three seamers, he will consistently have to be on the money.

“Dale, Morne (Morkel), Vernon (Philander) and KG (Kagiso Rabada) are a step above in that regard. But if we play four seamers, he is someone who gets talked about because he has pace and X factor, and he obviously bats as well.”

Talking abut Rabada, Du Plessis believes the best is yet to come for the pacer. “KG is an incredible athlete. “I still believe his best is yet to come.”


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