The ongoing Test series between India and South Africa is one of the most anticipated series in 2018 as both the teams are strong enough to challenge each other, and for the neutrals, this is one contest that will be fascinating to watch.
On Friday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli slammed his critics by stating that the team balance and combination will not be influenced by the opinion of outsiders. For a follower of the Indian cricket team, there is one emotion that has shadowed him from time immemorial, the awful feeling of an imminent defeat, whenever playing in a foreign land and on a wicket layered with grass.
Kohli made it clear he would welcome another no-holds-barred battle in conditions as tough as they were in Cape Town, where South Africa won the first Test by 72 runs. "Bhuvneshwar had performed well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn't justified", he added.
"The wicket looks a bit browner than I thought". The information from the groundsman was that the grass on the wicket had been burnt from the heat over the last week. It was very hot. "For us, at the moment, it is unknown and we will see how it plays over the next five days", he told a news conference.
"India were in the game for 90% of the match. They will have taken a lot of positives from that match, and they will feel they weren't far off".
Speaking about India, du Plessis said, "India, at times, was really good in that first Test. We believe we can get them out twice again".
It may be too soon to draw conclusions from the result of just one Test, especially given the fact that the Indian pace attack was more than a handful for the South Africans.
"There is no need to panic as a batting unit, we have played well for a long time - and we have played well away from home as well". For me‚ the key thing is pace and bounce and if there was a little bit of grass it would be fine‚ but we back ourselves.
The match saw South Africa's Vernon Philander taking career-best figures of six for 42 and finishing with overall nine wickets to eventually bag "man-of-the-match" award.