Captain Faf du Plessis pondered the composition of the Proteas’ XI for this week’s second Test against India in Pune, after Sunday’s heavy 203-run defeat in the series opener in Visakhapatnam.
An XI lined with specialist spinners Dane Piedt and Keshav Maharaj and all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy, but minus the services of specialist batsman Zubayr Hamza or fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, lost by 203 runs in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
‘If we leave out an all-rounder then our batting becomes weaker, If we play an extra batter when we don’t have enough bowling resources. Someone like Keshav can bowl a lot of overs so he can block up an end the whole day, similar to what Ravichandran Ashwin does with India,’ said du Plessis.
‘It’s about finding the balance, which is our best wicket-taking options. But also, you definitely need to have one element of control in the sub-continent. You can’t just have guys running and bowl in fast but not hitting the stumps consistently. Those are the conversation that we will have.’
Du Plessis hailed the performance of Muthusamy, who debuted with 33 and 49 not out – and removed the talismanic Virat Kohli in India’s first innings.
‘You can see technically he is very sound against spin which is something he has worked really hard on. Obviously he bowls a bit as well so that helps. Batting in that number seven or eight position is always something we are looking for as a team,’ added du Plessis.
‘He batted with real maturity in both innings and is making it hard for us to leave him out of the second Test. He is putting the numbers on the scoreboard which is what we want.’
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