Cape Town: After handing India a 72-run defeat in the opening Test at Newlands, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Monday focussed on the importance of putting pressure on the opposition in a brief three-match rubber.
Du Plessis also hailed his team for sticking to their plans despite being on the backfoot early on in their first innings. The Proteas were reduced to 12/3 on the opening day before the captain and his predecessor AB de Villiers lifted the team with a 114-run fourth wicket stand.
"It's really important in a three-match series to put the opposition under pressure. Every single time when we needed to stand up through tough periods, we responded beautifully. Didn't plan to be 12/3, but we responded," the skipper said in the post-match presentation.
"Even today, after India got off to a decent start, we stuck to our plans and put great pressure on their batters. The first morning, we expected it to move around for the first hour. That total we felt was just around par. We felt 270 was going to be par.
"Even in the second innings, from 90/7, AB played a great knock, he took some risks. The plan was to get 200 runs, to get a lead of 350 and to have a crack at them tonight," he added.
South Africa could add only 65 runs to their second innings total before being bundled out for 130 on a fourth day pitch, which the skipper felt behaved more like an opening day's track.
The entire third day's play was washed out on Sunday without a ball being bowled.
"But we were surprised how much it was doing this morning. When we came in today, the pitch was green again, almost like the day 1 pitch. It was tough, they bowled really well.
"I think it was a fantastic cricket wicket. There was a good challenge between bat and ball. If we had four seamers here today, Dale (Steyn) would have been a handful.
"Thoughts with him. Feel sorry for the guy. He's trained so hard and he's injured again," he added.
Both the teams will now face off in the second Test, starting January 13 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Stay updated on the go with Sify Live Scores App. Click here to download it for your device