India vs South Africa: Got A Score To Settle Against India, Says Faf du Plessis
The last time India and South Africa played each other in a Test series was in India in 2015 with the hosts running out comfortable 3-0 winners in a four-match Test series.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has said that his team has a score to settle against the visiting Indian team. The two teams will face each other in the first match of the three-Test series, starting in Newlands, Cape Town on Friday. Overall, the two teams have played each other in 33 Tests with India winning 10 and losing 13 while 13 matches have ended in a draw. India's record in South Africa is especially dismal with the former failing to win even a single series in six attempts. India have won just two Tests in South Africa, losing 8 and drawing seven. However, the last time India and South Africa played each other in a Test series was in India in 2015 with the hosts running out comfortable 3-0 winners in a four-match Test series.
Speaking about the loss, the South African skipper said that his team are looking to even the score.
"I don't know when the next Test series against India is, but it's probably the last time all of us (senior players) play against India and there's no better way than playing a series in South Africa. We were disappointed the last time we went there and we've got a score to settle, so we're excited for this series," he added.
Du Plessis was all praise for the pitch prepared for the opening Test and said it looked ideal for his team.
"I like the fact that there is some sort of preference that we can try to get an advantage. I think the groundsman has done a fantastic job with the heat. The wicket looks good.
"It looks like it's going to be exactly what we wanted."
Du Plessis downplayed rivalry with Virat Kohli or any other Indian player for that matter, and outlined that South Africa instead intend to target the entire playing eleven to get the desired result.
"Obviously Virat is a very good player. His stats don't lie. We are hoping we can put some pressure on him. If we can keep him quiet, we have a much better chance. But I see it as South Africa against India, I don't see a rivalry between us.
"We don't look at Virat alone. He doesn't get more time than any of the other Indian batsmen," du Plessis said.
After a long time, South Africa have all their bowlers fit while AB de Villiers also returns to the Test fold.
"This selection is probably one of the hardest that we are going to have to make. There are just so many combinations you can look at. It's a nice headache to have, a possibility to play four seamers but we're still talking about what could be our strongest eleven," he added.
When asked specifically about Steyn's possible inclusion, he replied, "It's a tough call. For me, he is the best bowler in the world. He hasn't played for a while and he hasn't got the overs under his legs that he would have wanted.
"But facing Dale in the nets, the skill feels like it hasn't gone anywhere. He has got the same pace, and the same swing. Skill-wise it's like he has just jumped back on that bicycle and is riding again."
(With PTI Inputs)