Faf Du Plessis: My spin record has improved since 2015 India tour
Faf du Plessis had a tour to forget personally too, following frugal returns of 60 runs from seven innings at a miserable 8.57
Visakhapatnam: South Africa had a torrid time on their last Test tour of India in 2015, when they were hammered 3-0 in a four-match series. The second Test in Bangalore ended in a draw because there was no play on the last four days, the hosts having rattled to 80 without loss on Day One after bowling the Proteas out for 214.
Faf du Plessis had a tour to forget personally too, following frugal returns of 60 runs from seven innings at a miserable 8.57. Now the captain of a Test team in the throes of transition, Du Plessis, 35, insists he is a far better player of the turning ball than he was four years back. "If there is a flaw in your game, generally Test cricket exposes that," Du Plessis admitted yesterday as South Africa braced to make their maiden appearance in the World Test Championship in the first Test against India.
"I needed to get better from a defensive, technical point of view to adapt to playing in tough conditions, but there was huge value in that tour for me. After that, I really started playing spin better. My record since then has been a lot better when the ball is spinning, white-ball or red-ball. All players have to go through tough times to make them better, to make them understand where the central weaknesses in their game [are]. Then, either you can disappear or come back stronger as well," he said.
This is the start of a frenetic six months for South Africa. They will host England in four Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is, followed by another home series of three ODIs and three T20Is against Australia. "It's a challenge, but I've always been the type of person and character that enjoys the challenge," said Du Plessis, who didn't figure in the T20I series in India last month when Quinton de Kock took over the leadership role.
"It generally brings the best out of me as a personality and as a character. You can't look at teams that you're playing and say 'Oh dear, we're playing against some really strong oppositions'. You've got to face it head-on. "There's a lot of senior players that are out of our system, our leadership group has changed completely, you've lost all your experience. But it's a new time for growing new leaders in our team. It's exciting to be working with the young guys," he said.
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