Debasis Sen, Centurion: South African cricket team captain Faf du Plessis thinks that Cricket South Africa (CSA) should appoint someone who can look after the groundsmen who prepare the pitches in South Africa. In the second Test at Centurion it was a kind of a sub-continent wicket which has always been regarded as the fastest wicket in South Africa. The Proteas beat the World No.1 Test side India in the second Test by 135 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series but the hosts were unhappy with the wicket which was made by the Bryan Bloy, the groundsman of Centurion.
“I was very concerned when I got here, leading up to the Test match. It looked not like a Centurion wicket that I know. That is a concern, to be honest. I am very honest about good things and when we get it right but it’s also fair to comment on where we can get better. I believe this was an opportunity that we missed,” said du Plessis at the post match press-conference.
“We can blame the groundsman but we also have to blame ourselves. We need a process where we make sure CSA has someone that looks after the groundsmen to get the right kind of pitches when we play against (different) teams. Not to make it ridiculous. We never wanted something ridiculous, we just wanted a pitch with pace and bounce. I think there is concern that we are not getting it right and this is not the first time – I can think of three or four occasions over the last 12 months. We need to be better as a collective. That’s something I will be taking up and making sure we can improve,” he further added.
“For me the way to look at that is even the Indian batting line-up struggled in conditions where their spinners were much better than ours,” he said. “Every Test match lasted three days and I think there was only one hundred. In this series there have been times when it has looked tough, but there have been guys scoring runs and guys taking wickets, so there is always that battle between bat and ball. If you have that, for me it is a good wicket. If it is just dominated by seam or spin bowling then I think the wickets are excessive.”
Du Plessis is very happy with his team’s performance as he labeled the performance as “incredibly special”.
“The game at Newlands was almost on fast forward, so it was an exciting game and this was completely the opposite,” he said. “It needed a lot of grinding, a lot of hard work and a lot of pushing ourselves for longer and longer, and that for me makes this Test match incredibly special. The previous one was more of a sense of excitement and the best one to watch but I take a lot of pleasure out of winning games like this, where the team needs a lot of heart and a lot of character and a lot of fight to make sure we get across the line. The conditions weren’t the condition we would have liked but the conditions were there and we still need to win.”