Cannot replace South Africa’s seasoned campaigners overnight, says Faf du Plessis
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis, speaking after his side’s defeat to India in the 2nd Test by an innings and 137 runs in Pune on Sunday, said the difference between the two sides throughout the series has been the gulf of experience between the sides. He said India have a very experienced team while South Africa have come into the series with some players who are not yet ready to fill the boots of those who came before them.
“I think, it’s purely a case of inexperience. I said before this Test series, your best Test teams are the teams with the most experience. When it comes to this Indian team, there’s a lot of experience in that dressing room, there’s a lot of Test matches behind their names,” Du Plessis said after losing the series and the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy.
“We are at this stage where we have lost almost all of our experience. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, all of them were seasoned campaigners. You don’t replace those guys overnight.
“And now it’s a new group of guys, who have played 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15 Test matches. That will take time. If you take the best players out of any team, they would find the same challenges,” Du Plessis explained.
Du Plessis also said that senior players like Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar and himself have to raise their hands up to rise to the occasion when the team is playing a difficult series like the ongoing tour of India.
He said the big failing of the South Africa team throughout the series has been the failure of the top order. He suggested that a change in the batting order could be on the cards in the final Test, which begins in Ranchi from Saturday.
“The batting failed in the first innings and from the starting point of view, we have not started well. Every single innings, we have been in a position where we have been 40 or 50 for three. It’s a vital component as how you start in the sub-continent,” he said.
Du Plessis also lauded his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli’s double hundred.
“Virat’s knock was incredible. Surprised that he started slow, normally he is quite busy and gets off quite well. He was quite patient in the beginning, which was required in the wicket, he left well. And then, sheer mental toughness to bat for that long. It takes huge amount of brain power. You can see that, and you can only admire from a distance.”