Debasis Sen, Centurion: South African cricket team captain Faf Du Plessis feels that though the Indian cricket team has lost the first Test by 72 runs at Newlands cricket stadium in Cape Town but his side won’t take the World No.1 Test side lightly when the two sides will lock horns against each other in the second Test at Centurion from tomorrow.
“We expect a huge performance from them as they are a very strong team. We don’t want to take a step back and rely on a 1-0 lead as if you do that they will pounce on you.” Du Plessis said in the pre-match conference.
The hosts practiced first in the morning today as they wanted to be accustomed with the conditions. Faf had a long conversation with the curator Bryan Bloy too as he want the same kind of pitch which they got in the first Test at Cape Town.
“For us, at the moment, it’s unknown. We’ll see how it plays over the next five days. For us to get the conditions we would like, the ball must spin as little as possible,” added the skipper.
The right-handed batsman said that the team management had asked for a pitch with pace and bounce.
“The wicket looks a bit browner than I thought it would be. From what I got from the groundsman, the grass on the wicket has been burned from the heat last week when it was very hot. We’ve asked for pace and bounce, so hopefully we will get that over the next five days,” he said.
On being asked what would be his team combination in the second Test, Faf replied,”The team that we selected last week was what we thought was the best team, Dale Steyn is among the world’s best bowler and he brings a lot to the table. With him missing, it will be a tough selection but it is a nice headache to have.”
As Steyn will not be there in the remainder of the series, Faf is yet to decide his bowling combination. Ngidi might be the fourth pacer in the second Test, but there is a possibility of the inclusion of Chris Morris. Faf praised AB De Villiers as he said that it’s good for the side that AB is still very hungry to score runs. He also praised Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander too.
“Rabada is a strong athlete and a strong bowler, he can bowl throughout the day, his best is yet to come as he is still learning.”
“Vernon has worked on his fitness and has really improved as a bowler, he wanted the ball the whole time and never got tired, which was good to see.” Du Plessis added.
The hosts will be eyeing to seal the series in centurion as an win their would give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.