The Economic Times
12,129.5073.7
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Second chance: Faf du Plessis men get second shot at challenging India’s home dominance

The only thing that could sway India is the grass cover that was on the pitch a day out, but you can be sure that will not remain intact come match morning.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 06.33 AM IST|Original: Oct 10, 2019, 06.33 AM IST
0Comments
Agencies
faf-du-plessis-agencies
Du Plessis, for his part, spoke of how the pro-rated points system, based on the number of Tests in a series, had an impact.
By Anand Vasu

You know a team is in a good headspace when their primary concern ahead of a Test match is that the rain should stay away, giving them the best possible chance to press home a 1-0 lead. India are as settled as they have been in the last two years and when Virat Kohli leads for the 50th time in his Test career, he has the luxury of not tinkering with the team.

The only thing that could sway India is the grass cover that was on the pitch a day out, but you can be sure that will not remain intact come match morning. Add to this the fact that there has been plenty of rain around in the lead up to the game and there could be enough moisture in the surface, or just below, to keep the seamers interested, at least first up.

For South Africa, the challenge was picking up 20 wickets, and to this end one of either Lungi Ngidi or Anrich Nortje, both of whom offer out and out pace, was likely to replace Dane Piedt. India’s batsmen took a shine to Piedt’s off-spin in the first Test and the visitors can ill-afford to cede control of the tempo of play.

With India having lost the last Test they played here, against Australia in 2015, on a pitch that got a “poor” rating from the In-ternational Cricket Council (ICC), all eyes were on the surface. But, while he believed it would turn more than the Visakhapatnam surface, Faf du Plessis didn’t expect anything dramatic.

“With the Test championship, it [pitch preparation] has changed. Even in South Africa if you have a below average pitch and you probably got a warning.

Whereas now you're deducted points.

From the home conditions point of view, I think it is not as obvious as making wickets like the one in 2015,” said du Plessis.

“Knowing Indian conditions, the turf is a little more red. So I expect the ball to spin a little more than the first Test. We'll have to see how the pitch behaves. I'm not a pitch expert but I think it'll take more turn than the first Test.”

Kohli also weighed in on the Test championship, and his was a radical suggestion.

“The importance of every game has become that much more. In situations, in a three match series, you probably would have played out a draw, but teams are going to go for wins and get those extra points,” said Kohli.

“The matches are going to be that much more exciting is what we all feel and already experienced that. We have to be professional in every session that we play. It will be much more demanding on the players now, which is a good thing as it will keep the standard of Test cricket high. If you would have asked me to make the points table, I would give double the points for an away Test win. That is something I would definitely would like to see may be after first edition.”

Du Plessis, for his part, spoke of how the pro-rated points system, based on the number of Tests in a series, had an impact.

“It is complicated. Obviously shorter the Test series, the more points you get [for each win]. You get a 120 points for two wins and then you play a 5-match series, then you've to win 5-0 which is a lot harder than winning 2-0. But I've noticed with these things, you'll always find holes and flaws. It's never a perfect system,” said du Plessis.

“For us it's just about being the first who is going through this journey now with the Test championship. I think home games are going to be really important. We knew while coming here that India will always be a tough place to play, but you've got to make sure you get your points at home especially. The nice thing now is that now your Test matches where your team is already 2-0 up or something like that, that third Test match in the past you would’ve probably given one or two young guys an opportunity... while now every Test match you play is important over the two-year period. So every Test match has a lot of value.”

With enhanced value, it’s over to Pune then, as South Africa make a second attempt to challenge India’s dominance at home.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

Also Read

Faf du Plessis surprised at no ICC action in DRS incident

Gifting away loads of extras cost us dear: Faf du Plessis

Ravichandran Ashwin will be the main threat, says Faf Du Plessis

Faf Du Plessis hundred was the best of the three: AB De Villiers

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service