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Ashwin is our major threat - Faf du Plessis

Ashwin is our major threat - Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis expects the pitch for the first Test to turn from day one.
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South African batsman Faf du Plessis has identified Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as the chief threat in the upcoming four match Test series which kicks off on 5th November.

Ashwin has an impeccable bowling record at home, having taken 95 wickets from 15 Test matches at an average of 24.12.

"He is an outstanding spinner but I feel we played him well (in T20s).

“Now, it is a case of Test cricket, but with the conditions he will get a little more turn.

"Ashwin is our main threat, but we will plan really well.

“The way we play Ashwin in this series will definitely determine definitely the success in this series.”

The Indian pitches are traditionally known for being spin-friendly and the former Test captain, MS Dhoni has been an advocate of producing pitches that turn from the first day.

Revealing that South Africa are preparing for facing turn from the first day, du Plessis stressed on the importance of playing attacking cricket in such conditions.

"We are expecting the ball to spin on day one, you expect it and then you plan for it.

“In India I think it is a lot more aggressive now than it used to be in the past where the pitches probably spin on day three, four and five but they start doing that on day one now.

"So that means the Test matches won't last long.

“But for us if it lasts only three days, we will have our plans to try and be attacking, to make sure to wait for opportunity and put momentum in our favour.”

South Africa have won away series against every Test playing nation since 2007 except India against whom they drew twice in 2007-08 and 2009-10.

This current series also marks the first time that South Africa are playing four Test matches in India which is a significant challenge according to du Plessis.

Nevertheless, the South African Twenty20 captain is confident that the team has practiced well to confront the challenge of playing India in their backyard.

"Obviously playing India in India in Test cricket is probably the hardest challenge.

“What has helped us is that we have done really well so far this tour.

“We have played really good cricket.

"So, we've got lot of confidence, but we understand that Test cricket is still going to be the hardest challenge.

“We've practiced well, planned well and we are really hungry to play Test cricket.”

Picking Morne Morkel to be South Africa’s main weapon in Indian conditions, du Plessis praised the 31-year-old fast bowler for being a "meticulous" trainer.

"He (Morne Morkel) is an extremely hard trainer.

“He is probably the most professional when it comes to doing everything that should be done.

“He is extremely meticulous about all small things about bowling, rhythms and I can appreciate because I am a batsman who likes the technical side of things.

“He is a great bowler for us and I think he can be handful for us in these conditions.”

Having won both the Twenty20 International and the One-Day International series against India in their current tour, South Africa will take on India in Mohali for the first Test which begins on 5th November.

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