India in South Africa, 1st Test: It's the pitch we wanted, says Faf du Plessis
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India in South Africa, 1st Test: It's the pitch we wanted, says Faf du Plessis

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Cape Town: South African captain Faf du Plessis said on Thursday that the pitch for the first Test against India, starting at Newlands on Friday, looked ideal for his team.

"The groundsman has done a fantastic job," said Du Plessis. "It's been very, very hot but looks like it's going to be a good cricket wicket, nothing too extreme but looks like it's going to be exactly what we wanted."

After several days of hot weather, the match pitch had a mottled appearance. It looked less green than it was when the South Africans assembled on Tuesday but there was still a good covering of grass.

The ideal pitch, according to Du Plessis, is one that offers pace, bounce and some seam movement.

"You don`t want excessive movement that brings both bowling attacks into the game. We feel that our seam resources on a wicket that offers a bit of pace and bounce can exploit some areas in their batting line-up," he said.

For the first time in more than a year, South Africa have all their key bowlers fit, while the returning AB de Villiers needs to be slotted into what has been a settled batting middle order.

"There are so many combinations," said Du Plessis. "It is the hardest team selection I`ve been involved in. We have so many different options, we can almost pick different teams for different venues."

Although coach Ottis Gibson indicated earlier in the week that it was unlikely Dale Steyn wo...

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