Faf Du Plessis has asked his side guard against any sort of complacency and expects the visitors to put up a strong performance as the three-match series progresses. Du Plessis singled out pacers Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada for praise after their dominating display with the ball in Newlands.
Team India began 2018 with a disappointing loss to the South Africans in a 72-run defeat as they continued on their mission to achieve the impossible - a Test series win in South Africa. The batting line-up failed to garner a significant amount of runs in the first Test which ultimately cost the visitors the match.
SA captain, Du Plessis, however, stated that the hosts would not be taking the Indians for granted and he anticipates the latter to enter the second match with an ‘all guns blazing’ attitude.
"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, reported News18.
Du Plessis reserved special praise for pacers Vernon Philander, who finished with career-best figures of 6/42 in the second innings, and Kagiso Rabada's performance in the first Test after their pace spearhead Dale Steyn succumbed to an innocuous heel injury during the first innings.
"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 Proteas now face a dilemma of the additional fourth pacer in the team due to Steyn’s injury but the skipper seemed rather upbeat about this situation saying, "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."
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