Du Plessis calls for 'collective' effort to maintain pitch standards in SA

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"I was very concerned when I got here, leading up to the Test match".

Sharing his thoughts, du Plessis said, "It looks a bit browner than I thought it would be". That is a concern, to be honest. "As long as we are winning it is fine", Du Plessis said on the eve of the second Test.

"We can blame the groundsman but we also have to blame ourselves". We can have processes where we make sure CSA has someone that looks after the groundsman to get the right kind of pitches - not make it ridiculous. We never wanted something ridiculous, we just wanted a pitch with pace and bounce. "This pitch will again test us to play our best cricket and that is something we are looking forward to". "Every Test match lasted three days and I think there was only one hundred". In that last 45 minutes of Day 1, we gave India a sniff and the chat after that was that we are gonna need a bit of character over the next four days. "For us is to make sure that we don't rely on a 1-0 lead‚ because if you do that against India they will pounce".

On day one, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat with the pitch surprising everyone with its flat nature. The pitches against Bangladesh in September-October, in Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein, were also slow, so much so that even the visitors were surprised by their similarity to subcontinental wickets.

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"The only part where we were a little better than them was that we got a few more runs in the first innings". He is expected to come under pressure over the lack of life in his strip.

Indian pacers lifted their game when needed to keep India in hunt in the all-important second test match in Centurion on Tuesday.

South Africa's tactic through the middle session seemed to be crease occupation and allowing the very dry surface to deteriorate further. "So the guys were grinding hard to get over 250", said Du Plessis.

"It was a big toss to win".

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"We are going to look at anything possible to take them out of their comfort zones. It was important for us to, in that first innings, put a decent total on the board", he said. I believe this was an opportunity that we missed.

"If it is just dominated by seam or spin bowling then I think the wickets are excessive".

Ever since they were blanked 3-0 in India in 2015, South Africa have made a point of preparing pitches that would trouble subcontinental batsmen. Faf du Plessis has blocked his ways to 37 scoring just 25 runs in the afternoon, while Kagiso Rabada has yet to score.

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