India inflicted a heavy defeat on South Africa in the second Test to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Despite losing the series, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has asked his players for improved performances with the bat when they face India in the third and final Test starting in Ranchi on Saturday. "We need to put big runs on the board in the first innings," Faf du Plessis said while addressing a press conference on Thursday.
"When you get runs in the first innings anything from there is possible. For us first innings runs will be vital and then anything could happen in the second innings," he added.
The visitors, who scored 431 in reply to India's 502 in Vizag, have struggled to put big scores on the board since then to put pressure on the hosts.
India, on the other hand, have dominated the series by accumulating big runs in their first innings.
India scored 502 runs in Vizag, while they put on 601 runs in Pune.
Du Plessis also asked his batsmen to learn from their Indian counterparts and put up a much-improved show in the final Test.
"It is really important that you prepare as much as you can and make it as tough as possible," Faf du Plessis said.
Meanwhile, South Africa opening batsman Aiden Markram has been ruled out of the final Test after he sustained an injury to his right wrist.
According to a Cricket South Africa media release, the injury happened when Markram lashed out at a solid object following his dismissal in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test that India won by an innings and 137 runs.
However, Virat Kohli insisted that India will not relax and will be eyeing a whitewash to extend their lead in the ICC World Test Championship.
(With IANS inputs)