Great advert for Test cricket: Du Plessis

Du Plessis

Du Plessis

"We knew Virat was a big wicket to get, and getting him there and then I was just trying to motivate my boys". In the event, there was plenty that suggested guns blazing when South Africa chose a five-bowler attack, including four pace prongs in Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.

India staged a fightback of sorts when Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got together for the eighth wicket as the duo added 49 runs and briefly kept alive India's chances but Philander made sure there were no hiccups as he removed Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the same over to clinch a 72-run victory for his side. "I'd like to think that we're, not just myself, a team that are prepared to take risks to win a game of cricket".

After the match, Faf said: "Surprise, yes".

Like his personal space, it will remain a mystery if it was some of that rage inside him that showed a different side to the bowler, who left two of South Africa's most capable batsmen, including their skipper Faf du Plessis, in tatters on Monday afternoon.

South Africa's Test crowds have dwindled over the years, but not at Newlands.

"We were talking about it pretty much after every day's play, saying that this is as good as it gets in Test cricket". Although there were periods in the first innings when the tourists were able to hold the South African pace attack at bay, the batsmen often slowed to standstill. India were all over us It felt like there was always a delivery with your name on it. It did surprise me a little bit on the first morning, the pace that it had. "We back ourselves in challenging conditions just to try and be a little bit smart when we bat", he said.

Reflecting on the first Test, du Plessis said, "There was this flow the whole time: India's on top, then South Africa's on top, then they are taking the game to us and we are taking it back to them", said du Plessis.

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Jasprit Bumrah's Test debut at Newlands got better and lethal on Monday as the Indian pacer bowled an nearly unplayable spell of 3/39 in South Africa's second innings of the first Test, which included the wicket of home skipper Faf du Plessis (0) that reminded of the "perfume balls" bowled by the famous West Indian quartet of the '70s. It was exciting and the fans had their full value for money because it was entertainment right through.

"Day one was a lot faster than we thought it was going to be". There was no boring Test cricket, it was a lot of action.

Philander had to face criticism due to his lack of fitness during the four-match Test against England a year ago and he said he initially took it "personally" before deciding to work on his fitness. "They played loose shots at wide balls", he said.

"The pitch was outstanding. And if we had Dale Steyn there too, I reckon we would have rolled them out cheaper", he said.

Kohli described it as a "great way" to begin the series. "I think it's a great way to start the series".

"The decision of picking this team was definitely the hardest I have been involved in". "We've got fantastic seam bowlers and if there's anything in the wicket, Vernon Philander and the other two guys are wonderful".

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