When not many people gave them a chance to make a comeback, the visiting South African team performed exceptionally well on Day 3 of the first Test match against India in Vizag. The duo comprising of Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock notched up remarkable centuries each as South Africa nearly scored 350 runs in a single day. However, it was the below-average performance from the bowlers and the batters in the second innings that led to the massive defeat.
During the post-match press conference, South African skipper Faf du Plessis termed the Test match as a real line in the sand for his side. He stated that he is very much of proud of the batting performance put in by his batters in the first innings where the visitors scored a total of 431 runs.
"I thought it was a real line in the sand for us as a team. Really proud of the first innings, the way we batted. There was an opportunity for us to go the other way and we didn't. We played really well, senior players put their hands up in Quinny [de Kock] and Dean [Elgar] getting fantastic hundreds and to get 400 in the sub-continent is never anything easy to do. The way we responded, it was brilliant,” quoted Faf du Plessis.
Faf reckoned that the advantage of scoring quick runs in the first innings actually went against them as they found it difficult to slow down the game. He talked about the fast bowlers probably not coming into play until Day 5, where Indian pacer Mohammed Shami picked a sensational five-wicket haul.
"It was difficult to try and slow the game down, obviously bowling a lot of spin. Pace of play was really fast and when they got momentum that they had at that stage, it just felt that it was really difficult to stop the scoring. From a combination point of view, it is difficult to say. If you look, apart from today, seamers didn't play that much of a role in this Test match. One wicket, two wickets maybe in an innings. They played a holding role more in the first four days,” he added.
"Whether an extra seamer would have made a difference, I am not sure if it would have. Definitely day five, we saw that there was huge value in the seam. Obviously the up and down. But that is something for us to consider now moving into the next Test match. Whatever we feel is our best opportunity in getting 20 wickets because that's what you need to win Test matches and obviously we couldn't do in this Test match, couldn't bowl them out. That's something we will definitely look at and see how we can counter that," the South African captain concluded.