Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is expecting the pitch for this week’s second Test against India in Pune to turn more than in last week’s series opener in Visakhapatnam.
The tourists fielded three spinners – left-armers Keshav Maharaj and Senuran Muthusamy and right-armer Dane Piedt – in the first Test, which resulted in a 203-run defeat on Sunday. That pitch was relatively flat for the opening two days, but yielded substantial turn for Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin thereafter.
In the previous Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune Australia beat India in 2015. India played three spinners – Ashwin, Jadeja and all-rounder Jayant Yadav – and the Australians opened the bowling with left-armer Steve O’Keefe in the first innings and right-armer Nathan Lyon in the second.
‘I know Indian conditions quite well. The turf is a little bit more red here and, in terms of that, it is generally better for spin. I am expecting the ball to spin here more than it did in the first Test,’ said Du Plessis.
The visitors bowled more than 200 overs in Visakhapatnam and have a relatively short turnaround between the first and second Test.
‘We spent a lot of time in the field in very hot and humid conditions there. The thinking is to be fresh for this Test. There is not enough time to find the answers in the nets now. The work has been done before the series, so it is about trusting that. We want to be fresh for the five days,’ added Du Plessis.
Sunday’s victory afforded the Indians an early lead in the three-match series. Ranchi will host the third and final Test later this month.
‘We are resilient and will always find a way to make a comeback,’ concluded Du Plessis.
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