Faf du Plessis contributed with the bat in both innings at Centurion © AFP
Faf du Plessis contributed with the bat in both innings at Centurion © AFP

India went down to South Africa in the penultimate Test at Centurion. As a result, they have lost the three-match series, and failed to extend their glorious Test run recently. They had won joint-most consecutive Test series (9) — tied with England and Australia — before debutant Lungi Ngidi brought them on the mat. Though India had their chances, they failed in crucial junctures. South Africa skipper, Faf du Plessis, was pleased with Ngidi’s show. He even credited his side for standing tall in most parts following a mini-collapse in Day One’s evening session.

Addressing former captain Shaun Pollock in the post-match presentation, du Plessis highlighted the key factors. “It took a lot of hard work over the last five days. We were on top pretty much most of the times. One of the harder Tests, given it was tough to pick wickets. After Day One, we were very disappointed. In that last 45 mins, we gave India a sniff but we made sure we showed chartered over the last four days. We were short in the first innings. We needed to get 400 but for me the vital time was the second innings. We kept pushing and we knew anything over 250 would be challenging,” said du Plessis.

In addition, du Plessis showered praise on Ngidi (seven wickets in the match). The debutant became the second, after Lance Klusner, to attain a debut five-for versus India. “Special performance by Ngidi. He’s a great guy and we welcome him into the team. I look at the person’s personality and he’s a wonderful human being,” stated du Plessis.

Faf also credited Morne Morkel for taking a spectacular catch diving forward to pluck Parthiv Patel’s scalp. “Morne’s catch was better than AB’s (referring to de Villiers’ efforts to get rid of Rohit Sharma). Morne is going to tell us a lot about that catch over the next few days. Taking him catch that was a beautiful sight, “concluded du Plessis.

The third and final Test will be played at Johannesburg from January 24.