India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Faf du Plessis reckons Rohit Sharma's second ton made the difference
- Rohit scored two centuries in each innings of his first Test as an opening batsman (176 and 127)
- It laid the foundation of India's eventual 203-run win against South Africa in Visakhapatnam
- Chasing 395 to win, South Africa were bowled out for 191 on the final day
VISAKHAPATNAM: South African skipper Faf du Plessis was happy with the way his team fought back after being reduced to 39/3 on the second day of the first Test, which they eventually lost by 203 runs here on Sunday.
“Yeah, really proud of the first innings, the way we batted,” du Plessis said. “We have a lot of new players in our squad. There was an opportunity for us to go the other way and we didn’t.
We played really well, senior players put their hands up in Quinny (Quinton de Kock, 111) and Dean (Elgar, 160) getting fantastic hundreds. To get 400 in the subcontinent is never easy. The way we responded, it was brilliant. But the way Rohit played, especially in that second innings, made it tough for us,” he said.
Does he see a change in bowling attack going forward in the Test series?
“It is difficult to say. Apart from today (Sunday), seamers didn’t play that much of a role in this Test match. They played a holding role more in the first four days. Definitely (on) day five, we saw that there was huge value in the seam. That is something for us to consider now moving into the next Test match.”
The South African skipper also lauded Senuran Muthusamy.
“He played unbelievably well. You could see that technically he is very sound against spin. I haven’t seen much of him personally over my career but great to see that he offers us balance.”
Du Plessis was bowled by Shami in SA's second innings (AP Photo)
South Africa, du Plessis said, are still reeling from the void left by an all-rounder of the calibre of Jacques Kallis.
“It has been an issue for a while and we have managed to work around it when conditions allow. But someone like Kesh can block up an end the whole day, similar to what Ashwin does for India. So it’s just about finding the balance of which is going to be our best wicket-taking options but you definitely need to have an element of control in the sub-continent.”
The skipper also defended Temba Bavuma’s place in the top-order.
“It’s something that’s been spoken about for a while. The reason why I initially moved to No. 5 was I was more equipped to play both roles in the middle and in the beginning. Similar with Quinton. That’s the reason why you try and split up your experienced and your young players. Hash (Hashim Amla) has gone now.
"The reason why Temba is batting at No. 4 is that he is technically a very, very good player. You might say his numbers probably don’t back that up, but technically he is one of our better players and we know that.”
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