Faf du Plessis has rubbished claims that the Wanderers pitch was dangerous for play even after his side lost the third Test match to India in the three-match series. He also argued that his side has never been welcomed with a green track whenever they have toured India for a series in the past.
India finally managed to salvage a consolation win by winning the third Test at the Wanderers in the recently concluded Test series in South Africa. The Test match created a lot of buzz for the extra bounce in the surface rather than the individual performances of the players of both sides. India lost the Test series 2-1 to South Africa due to their poor batting displays in the first and the second matches of the series as their batting woes continued on pacy and swinging tracks.
"Whether it's one percent or five percent or ten percent - whatever you can you must try and get an advantage against the opposition. When we go to India, we certainly don't play on flat, green tracks," PTI quoted the South African captain saying.
"And I assume that there would be a similar conversation happening there. For me, it's just making sure that there's a conversation happening with the management of our team and also the groundsman about the conditions that would be ideal for a Test series. This Test series we didn't get that, and I can't give you the reason for that."
Though Murali Vijay got hit as many as five times during the second innings, which was followed by blows to Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, du Plessis felt that the pitch wasn't dangerous until his teammate Dean Elgar was hit by a ball on his helmet
"I don't think so (that it was dangerous on) days one and two. The only time I got a little bit concerned was when Dean got hit in the face. That's when I got a little bit concerned about player safety," replied the Proteas captain on being asked about the pitch
"Even in Indian innings, there were quite a few guys that got hit on the fingers quite regularly. I think if you count the number of times guys got to hit it was much more than usual."
The pitch did not trouble the batsman on the fourth day as it was troubling them on the second and the third day."You know an excessive sideways movement is tough but not dangerous. As soon as guys started getting hit from a length, that's when we thought it might be dangerous. But surprisingly the pitch played fine again today. So we had the opportunity to chase down the game and we didn't do that." said Faf.
South Africa had no one to blame but themselves for the loss against India in the third Test as they gave too many lifelines to Kohli and were very poor in the field. Their middle order batsmen too struggled to put up numbers in the match.
"To be hard on ourselves, we weren't on top of our game from the start. Even in the first innings, I thought the total that they got 189 or whatever it was probably 30 runs too many," he said after the 63-run loss."I can remember Virat having 2-3 chances. So it all adds up. Even the second innings, they got 220 and they should have been 180. So the last innings we should have chased 160 or something like that," said du Plessis.
The Indian bowlers had taken the advantage of the shortcomings of the middle order batsmen of the South African team as the Indian bowlers managed to bowl them out for peanuts.
"I thought in both innings, we were a little bit short and wide for most of the Indian innings, which gave them the opportunity to leave a lot more. From a batting perspective, we felt that the Indian bowlers made us play a lot more," he said.
"The Indian bowlers are very successful in these conditions. So that's something we've got to remember when we play them here next time, that why is it that they are successful here.
"Obviously you could see that their bowlers were a real handful in this Test match. And credit to their batters, they put their hands up and put the runs on the board."