Du Plessis wary of 'unknown' Centurion surface

Georgia Reed
January 15, 2018

South African batting hasn't looked too comfortable either with the Indian pacers proving they are up for the scrap but that hasn't anxious du Plessis one bit.

In his second season in charge at the venue, Bloy says that more than favouring the home team, it is about preparing a wicket that shall play true to its nature.

"India were in the game for 90 per cent of the match". While the conditions obviously are hard to tackle, they need to show some positive intent to take on the rival attack which will be preying on their perceived weakness against bounce. To get the conditions that we would like, the ball must spin as little as possible. I expect a good cricket wicket and hopefully pace and bounce.

The hosts, who lead this three-match series 1-0, have one selection headache. The wicket looks a bit browner than I thought. "India is the same". If it was a low-scoring game, we'd want to get 20 or 30 or 50 more.

"See, pace and bounce comes naturally here and that is what we have tried to keep". To have pace anywhere in the world is an advantage. Coming to the wicket, well you will get pace and bounce.

Despite the brown grass on the pitch, du Plessis was of the opinion that the spinner might not have much to do in this Test. I don't mind that. "Sometimes when you have a long batting line-up you can take your foot off because someone else might come and do that".

"If every Test match finishes inside three days and we're on the right side of the result, then I'm okay with that", Proteas coach Ottis Gibson offered after the Cape Town Test.

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Du Plessis also said that the culture in the team meant everyone felt comfortable and were able to perform to optimum levels.

Rabada will be looking to continue his good run of form with the ball in the second Test against India, which gets underway on January 13 in Centurion. In our dressing room, there's none of that. "We know that a person who feels at home is a person that is going to contribute and perform a lot better". "The conversation was, 'Well done, the stuff you have been doing over the off-season is paying off". You're looking good.' At the end of the day it's about trying to get the best out of players.

"Vernon is now in a place where he's fitter". The most pleasing thing for me was to see that he was wanting the ball all the time. He wasn't exhausted after four overs and was ready all the time. If we can have Vernon like that, it makes our bowling even more unsafe.

In his response to the post, the bowler joked that his girlfriend was not impressed by the gesture.

Expectation from AB is the same as anyone in the team.

"Like any other batsman in the team, AB's job is to score runs". I think he's learning a lot as a bowler and he's a very young bowler still.

"KG (Rabada) is an incredible athlete - I think that's his strongest attribute". He can bowl the whole day and he doesn't get exhausted. He came back strongly at Newlands, with a best of 6 for 42 and his preference to bowl longer spells at greater intensity is the talking point of this phase of his career.

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