JOHANNESBURG – The Proteas will aim to level the 3 match Test series against India when the second test gets under way in Pune on Thursday.South Africa lost the first game by 203 runs, in what was also both teams’ inaugural match in the World Test Championship.A win for the Proteas would level the series and give them a great deal of momentum heading into what would be the deciding test. Getting that victory is easier said than done though.There were definite positives from the first Test, the major one being the batting performance in the first innings and in particular the knocks that Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock played.In contrast, the batting collapse of the second innings will be a worrying factor, especially if the pitch in Pune turns as much as it is expected to.Most of all, the Proteas will be looking to improve with the ball, having taken just 11 of the 20 wickets on offer across both innings.Skipper Faf du Plessis is fully aware of the fact that they need to strike with the ball on a consistent basis.“Obviously, we didn’t get 20 wickets in the previous match, that is something that we aware of and something that we are trying to fix. At the end of the day, taking wickets wins you Test matches so our thinking will be trying to pick players that can influence the game and win matches for the team”, he said.Despite the loss in that first Test, du Plessis has confidence that his side will be able to bounce back.“We are a team that is very resilient, and we come back almost always. We’ve got a lot of character and a lot of fight but for me, its more about how we start and try put pressure on India first so that they are the ones playing catch up for the rest of the series”, he said.In terms of getting things right with the bat and avoiding another collapse in the second innings, du Plessis feels the batters can take a lot of lessons from the way Elgar and de Kock approached their knocks.“You have to try to put some pressure back on them otherwise they just bowl good balls all day long and then one of those balls will have your name on it. I thought that Dean and Quinton especially had a good balance between attack and defence which was key to their performances and is how we should bat in the sub-continent”, he said.The first ball is set to be bowled at 6 am local time on Thursday.
Du Plessis confident Proteas can bounce back in Pune
Wednesday 9 18:19