Faf du Plessis believes there were loads of positives to take from their draw against New Zealand in Dunedin.
Day five was rained out with South Africa on 224-6, a lead of 191, and Du Plessis in a settled position on 56 off 218 balls.
The Proteas captain felt that his side was in a prime position to go 1-0 up and was frustrated with the outcome of the match.
‘There was a lot of work over the four days that happened for both teams,’ he said after the match on Sunday.
‘When the day, especially a Test match, finishes the way it did, it’s very frustrating. From our position, we felt that yesterday was tough, there was a lot of grafting, but we got ourselves into a position where if today was a full day of cricket, with New Zealand being one seamer down and one of their main batters out of the team, we fancied our chances. It’s disappointing from that point of view.’
‘Someone like Dean coming in and scoring some runs was good. Getting rid of those cobwebs was good, to get the guys going again. I feel we are always very good once we get that engine running, we are looking forward to that second Test match with the guys playing a bit of cricket.’
With the match ending in a draw, both captains were acceptant of the result. Du Plessis revealed that there were many positives to take out of their performance over the four days of play. Spin played a massive factor at the University Oval and he has urged his side to take these positives into the next Test in Wellington.
‘It’s a fair call,’ he said. ‘We were 190 runs ahead on a wicket that was spinning quite a bit. Purely on the match position, if we got 50 more runs, a 250-run lead in 60 overs, we would have fancied our chances for a draw or for the win, a loss would have been out of the equation. That would have been a good position to be in.
‘From their (New Zealand) side, if they bowled us out early this morning, chasing 200 in 80 overs would be doable,’ he added. ‘We felt we were capable of getting another 40 runs. From a Test match perspective, both teams played some really good cricket. We did right and wrong things, so we were 50-50 after this Test match.’
Wellington will host the second Test with day one starting on 16 March at 12 am SAST.
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