South Africa proved no match for India once again as the hosts beat them by an innings and 137 runs to win the three-match series with a match remaining. The Faf du Plessis-led side never looked in contention to challenge India let alone beating them. After being asked to follow-on for the first time since 2008, South Africa were all out for just 189.

Following the game, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis insisted that the inexperience of the Proteas has been the difference between the two teams. He also acknowledged that it’s not possible to replace world class players like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers overnight. The visitors did meet the likes of Amla and de Villiers as their batsmen looked more or less clueless in front of India.

“I think, it’s purely a case of inexperience. I said before this Test series, your best Test teams are the teams with the most experience. When it comes to this Indian team, there’s a lot of experience in that dressing room, there’s a lot of Test matches behind their names,” a dejected Faf du Plessis said.

“We are at this stage where we have lost almost all of our experience. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, all of them were seasoned campaigners. You don’t replace those guys overnight. And now it’s a new group of guys, who have played 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15 Test matches. That will take time. If you take the best players out of any team, they would find the same challenges,” he added.

Faf du Plessis
Wriddhiman Saha takes a catch to dismiss Faf du Plessis. Credit: BCCI

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He further admitted that it is now up to him and other senior players to lead the way for the inexperienced teammates.

“For us, it is important as a senior player group to make sure that we put in performances ourselves. Myself, Deano, Quinny (De Kock), we can’t expect other guys to make runs. We need to make sure we make the runs first and then the others guys to chip in with us. In a time like this, it is important that your big guys really, really take control and make sure that they put in the bulk of the work,” he said.

South Africa will be looking to put up a good show in the third and final Test in Ranchi. They will be desperate to avoid a whitewash and also open their account in the ICC Test Championship.