Du Plessis: India too reliant on Kohli's runs

The victorious South African skipper felt India's reliance on Virat Kohli to make the runs was the difference between the two sides.

India's Virat Kohli scored 154 in the first innings of the Centurion Test.   -  AFP

After clinching the series with the Centurion win, South African captain Faf du Plessis said his side was “highly motivated” to go for a clean sweep in the final Test at Johannesburg.

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He said, “We haven’t had the opportunity to beat India 3-0 for a while. For me it’s about keeping your foot on the gas. It makes us even hungrier as a team.”

Asked about the series win against the No. 1 ranked Test side in the world, du Plessis said, “Extremely special. The previous game we spoke about Newlands was almost on fast forward mode. It was completely the opposite here. It needed a lot of grinding, a lot of hard work and a lot of pushing ourselves for longer and longer periods. This was special.”

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Du Plessis was disappointed at seeing a surface that suited the Indians more than his team at Centurion. “We can blame the groundsman but we also have to blame ourselves. We made a process where we make sure CSA has someone that looks after the groundsman to get the right kind of pitches. We never wanted something ridiculous, we just wanted a pitch with pace and bounce.”

Sharing his thoughts on debutant fast bowler Lungi Ngidi’s bowling, du Plessis said, “When I looked at Lungi I never sensed any nerves. He was really calm and just wanted to bowl fast and in the right areas.”

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Remembering the rank turners when South Africa last visited India for Tests in 2015, he said, “Our win-rate away from home is the best in the world so we have played some really good cricket. The last time we went to India we didn’t play as well, but I do feel the conditions were touching on the extreme.”

About the difference between the teams in the series, he said, “Everyone has chipped in for us. But we feel as an opposition that India is very reliant on Virat [Kohli] to score runs. So that’s the difference.”

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