Any home captain would want to have the conditions that would help them take advantage, that would give them that extra sniff and South African skipper Faf du Plessis is no different. It was a minefield at Newlands especially on the Day 4 play when we saw 18 wickets collapse in just 64 overs. The pitch got the extra spice when the rain hit Cape Town on Day 3 and the strip was kept under cover for almost two nights.
It is known now the pitch for the second Test match between South Africa and India is not that green and grass has turned brown due to the heat at Centurion in the last one week. Faf du Plessis is hopeful that the pitch would provide good pace and bounce despite lacking the grass.
Pitch is brown instead of green.
Faf du Plessis said in the pre-match conference, “We expect a huge performance from them as they are a very strong team. We don’t want to take a step back and rely on a 1-0 lead as if you do that they will pounce on you. I expect a good cricketing wicket with pace and bounce but it certainly looks browner than the previous one”.
du Plessis hopes that the pitch will play well for the next five days. It is not green and the brown grass can offer assistance to the spinners. It would be interesting to note how would the pitch behave during the course of play.
Du Plessis added, “As you can see over there, there is not a lot of green grass. I expect a good cricket wicket and hopefully a bit of pace and bounce. To be really honest, I don’t know (if it will spin). Generally, Centurion doesn’t spin that much but there is a thick layer of brown grass on it so it’s not something that we’re used to seeing at Centurion”.
The Proteas will aim to extend their lead and seal the series in Centurion whereas the visitors will aim to bounce back. It would also be interesting to note what kind of playing combination will both teams back.