South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis praised his teammates for responding brilliantly to crisis calls in the first Test against India at Newlands, Cape Town, which the host won by 72 runs on Monday.

“Every single time during the Test, when we needed to stand up, we responded brilliantly. There was a bit of pressure to put pressure on the Indian batting line-up. We stuck to our plans, so the credit goes to the bowlers,” said Faf.

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Faf also scored an important 62 in the first innings. “We expected the ball to move on the first morning, we knew we had to get through to the first hour. To get to the total we got to, we thought it was above par; 270 would be par,” he added.

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The Proteas skipper also praised India all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the bonus runs. “He took risks and it paid off. Our plan was to try and get 200 runs, and have a lead of 350 and then, have a crack at them. We were surprised with what the ball did after a day of rain. When I came to the ground today, it looked like a Day One pitch again. It was green,” said Faf, who also lauded the groundsmen for creating a pitch that threw a challenge to both bowlers and batsmen.

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“This win is massive for us. Having Dale (Steyn) would have been helpful. He has been trying hard and we wish him speedy recovery,” he added.