Faf du Plessis opts out of toss: The South African captain provided an interesting update ahead of the Ranchi Test vs India.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis had struggled with the bat in Test matches during his last tour to India in 2015. In four Tests, du Plessis had scored 60 runs at an average of 8.57 and a strike rate of 21.12 including three ducks.
In the two Tests that the 35-year old cricketer has played in the ongoing series, he has scored 137 runs at an average of 34.25 and a strike rate of 45.66 including a couple of half-centuries.
Observing the same, du Plessis felt that he has improved as a Test batsman in India but needs to convert his half-centuries into centuries for the greater good of his team. “My last series here, when I batted in Test cricket, I found it very challenging.
“I think I’ve shown a lot of improvement coming here the second time around, being quite comfortable out there in the middle even though we’ve been under pressure as a batting unit all the time. Looking good, feeling good, batting well, and then it’s just a case of me making sure that I can convert fifties into hundreds,” du Plessis was quoted as saying during the pre-match press conference in Ranchi.
Faf du Plessis opts out of toss
Having lost the toss on both the occasions so far, South Africa have been asked to chase. Batting in the fourth innings against an Indian attack doubtlessly becomes a daunting task especially when you are a non-Asian team.
It is worth mentioning that the last South African Test captain to win a toss in Asia was Hashim Amla (against Bangladesh in 2015). The Proteas have lost nine tosses in a row since then which hasn’t helped their case. In what came as an interesting development, du Plessis announced that they are likely to send someone else at the toss tomorrow.
“We’ve felt that we’ve done it [compete] in stages, more probably in the first Test, so hoping that we can start with the toss tomorrow. Probably will [send] somebody else to the toss tomorrow, I’ll give you that, because my record so far hasn’t been great, and then, yeah, if we put big runs on the board in the first innings, that’s where we need to start.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 18, 2019
“We get runs in the first innings, and then anything from there is possible. So hopefully, that’ll be how it’ll unfold over the next couple of days, where we can put some runs on. The pitch looks a little bit drier, a little bit crustier, so first-innings runs are going to be vital, and then anything is possible in the second innings,” du Plessis said.