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The South African skipper credits groundsman for 'Victory'

By Rashmi Nanda -

The South African Test captain, Faf du Plessis has credited the groundsman for reducing the effect of Sri Lankan spin attack as they registered victory by 206-runs in the First Test at Port Elizabeth.


On Friday (September 30), the skipper also confessed that his side had asked the St George Park's grounds man Adrian Carter, to make sure the pitch doesn't take much spin on the final two days to make certain the visitors do not find any gain.

The South African skipper said, "The groundsman got it spot on. We asked him for a wicket that didn't spin right through the innings that moved around on the first innings and didn't spin on day four and five. So it's great wicket that he prepared."

Faf du Plessis added, "You can either choose a green wicket or one that's good for batting and then it will spin later but against a team like this it's important that you nullify their strengths, which is spin bowling. As a batting unit, we are not scared of batting on a green top, so we will choose to go on something that looked a bit greener than something that looks a bit browner.”

As we have seen, the Sri Lankan team did make a promising start while chasing the total of 488 runs but an unnecessary run-out and a few soft removals broke their confrontation by the end of the fourth day. Du Plessis said, "They had a few soft wickets and if they didn't do that and batters had put their hands up, they could have chased this score down," 

He stated, "But Vernon, Kyle, and KG (Kagiso Rabada) are doing an amazing job. For Kyle to step into Dale's shoes and do as well as Dale has done for this team is amazing. Every time he plays a game he is incredibly consistent. Even though KG wasn't as quick as he would like, you are not going to always be on song, Vernon put his hand up as he always does on a green top."

The skipper said that the fast bowler K Rabada, who is physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming games. Plessis pointed out, "Mentally and physically, he is fine. If he played all the domestic T20 games I would have maybe had a different answer but I think he has had his rest and he is ready to go."

Ahead of the first Test, the Proteas skipper Du Plessis had already spoken about asking over his batsmen to take on more responsibility and be consistent in scoring big scores. He stated, "I spoke about it before the Test. I feel we are batting really well as a unit but it comes in individual greatness and I feel we can do a little bit more as a unit. It's about lifting that bar a little higher and not being happy with getting to 300 and winning the game but actually pushing it to 400. In the first innings, we had fifty runs as a batting unit, left in the tank. It's about not settling."

He stated, "I spoke about it before the Test. I feel we are batting really well as a unit but it comes in individual greatness and I feel we can do a little bit more as a unit. It's about lifting that bar a little higher and not being happy with getting to 300 and winning the game but actually pushing it to 400. In the first innings, we had fifty runs as a batting unit, left in the tank. It's about not settling."