Du Plessis expects tough fight from India

Du Plessis expects tough fight from India

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Wednesday acknowledged that it will be tough to beat India in the six-match ODI series starting on Thursday and said the visitors' poor record here in the 50-over format will not be much of a factor.

India have only won five out of 27 ODIs they have played against the Proteas in South Africa, have never won a bilateral series here or indeed beaten South Africa at Durban in ODI cricket.

"I think it (the poor record) tells a story. It means that there is something difficult for touring teams to come here and get accustomed to. But as I mentioned before the Test series, I feel like this Indian cricket team has got the names on paper to challenge that and get some victories in South Africa.

"They have proved that in the Test series and they are a quality team. So I expect the same (challenge and intensity) in the ODIs coming up," said du Plessis on Wednesday.

South Africa won the Test series 2-1, but the Indian bowlers gave a good account of themselves picking all 60 wickets on offer.

Du Plessis felt that this would be a factor in the ODI series as well, in both pace and spin, with India bringing fresh leg-spinners into the mix.

"They are very good spinners. I've played against them (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yada) obviously in the T20s and in the IPL. They have been very successful for India in the last while. ODI wickets here generally don't spin a hell lot so it depends on how the wickets play.

"But they have got more control. The benefit of having spinners like that is they are always looking to get wickets. And if you get wickets, you put pressure on the batting side. They'll be two important bowlers for the Indian team," he said.

The skipper said he was surprised with the performance of Indian pacers in Tests.

"The conditions in the Test series were bowling friendly, but I was surprised how consistent the Indian seamers were. They were very, very consistent and it showed us there is a lot of strength in their bowling department.

"Jasprit Bumrah was a surprise selection because India had more experienced bowlers in the squad, but he was very impressive. He is a good ODI bowler but I was really impressed with his consistency. He didn't bowl a lot of bad balls, which shows that he is someone for the future, he added.

Talking about South Africa's gameplan in this ODI series, he further said, "The good thing is, that from a batting point of view, we were able to still make a few inroads. We feel like we had some good plans in the Test matches to certain batsmen and so if we can keep those guys quiet in the early doors of the series, we feel that as a batting unit we can keep them under pressure."

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