Du Plessis thrilled with resilience in 'one of favourite Tests'
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis hailed the resilience of his bowling attack after they spearheaded a 72-run win over India in the first Test.
Having set India a target of 208 after being bowled out for 130 in their second innings on a fourth day where 18 wickets fell, South Africa skittled the tourists for just 135 at Newlands.
Vernon Philander was the star of the show with career-best figures of 6-42, the all-rounder taking nine wickets in a match that saw Dale Steyn's comeback curtailed by a heel injury that will keep him out of the rest of the three-match series.
"Every single time in this Test, we had to stand up in tough periods. The way we responded was brilliant. Even with them getting to a decent start, we stuck to our guns," Du Plessis said.
"The first morning we expected it to move around, but quite a bit of damage was done in the first hour. I thought 270 was par, [Hardik] Pandya then took risks [to score 93 in India's first innings] and it came off. Once again, the bowlers stepped up.
"The plan was to try and get 200 runs and have a lead of 350 and have a crack at them. We were surprised how much the ball was doing. It was like a day one pitch. Green, again. It was a good pitch, though, and there was a good challenge between the bat and ball.
"It is really important to put the opposition under pressure in a three-match series.
"Dale would have been a real handful. We feel sorry for him and wish him a speedy recovery."
The frenetic nature of the contest in Cape Town made for an absorbing three days of Test cricket, the third day having been washed out.
"This is as good as it gets in Test cricket – the crowd was incredible," Du Plessis added. "This was one of my favourite Test matches."