Skipper Faf du Plessis admitted that India‘s batting performance in the second innings of the first Test took the game away from South Africa.
India defeated South Africa by 203 runs on the fifth day of the first Test at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
India lost the first-innings double-centurion Mayank Agarwal early in the second innings. But Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara‘s 169-run stand for the second wicket as India took control of the opening Test of the series.
While South Africa put up a great fight in the first innings, scoring 431 on the back of Dean Elgar’s 160 and Quinton de Kock’s 111 after India declared at 502/7.
“Great start to the game with the bat. Obviously India batted well, two great knocks by Mayank and Rohit. We fought well in our first innings with the bat. To get that sort of a total in the second innings of a game in India is tough. Their second innings was tough for us, Rohit and Pujara took the game away from us,” said du Plessis.
The Proteas skipper, who scored 55 in the first innings – his fifty on the Indian soil in the longest format of the game -, said that his team, who were bowled out for 191 after Mohammed Shami took five wickets, did well till the final day of the match
“I thought up until this morning, we competed pretty well on a good pitch.. Day 5 if it starts misbehaving like that it’s fine. That’s part of Test cricket. If you are always through a game like that you can think of the what ifs,” said du Plessis.
“The seamers were mostly doing a holding job in this game up until today. Shami bowled beautifully today. We got to improve on our spinners taking 4-5 wickets in the second innings. On a Day 5 pitch things happens quicker (fall of wickets). It should be like that, it’s perfect like that (the pitch playing up and down). We got to move on from this and get ready for the next Test,” concluded du Plessis.