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Faf du Plessis seeks to inspire his teammates for a consolatory win against rampant India
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Faf du Plessis seeks to inspire his teammates for a consolatory win against rampant India

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis is sanguine about playing a grinding knock in the last Test match against India in hopes of a solitary win.

India were clinical in the first two Tests and comprehensively won the series last Sunday with an unassailable 2-0 lead. The hosts outgunned the visitors in the last game by an innings and 137 runs.

South Africa were lagging behind in both Test matches as India posted impregnable totals of 502 in Visakhapatnam and 601 in Pune.

South Africa are undergoing a transition after the retirements of their seasoned campaigners, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn, who offered a lot of stability and firepower to the side.

Du Plessis, spearheading an inexperienced team, made significant contributions by scoring 55 and 64 and now is aiming to score big in the final showdown.

"Probably I will send somebody else to the toss tomorrow, I'll give you that, because my record so far hasn't been great, and then if we put big runs on the board in the first innings, that's where we need to start." - du Plessis

"The fact that I have done it (scored 50) twice already this series, there is no reason for me not to go and get a big one," du Plessis told media.

Du Plessis will strive to lead from the front 

Du Plessis is feeling the pressure of heavy defeats and has taken it upon himself to up the ante.

"That's a challenge for myself because I understand that sixties is not going to win Test matches for us. I need to bat big like the Indian team has done and score big runs" He added.

The opening batsman Dean Elgar was the rare shining star for South Africa as he piled up 160 in the first game.

Proteas skipper urges his side to alter their approach in order to give their opposition a run for their money.

"How can the batsman be hungry for big runs? From the bowling point of view, how can we get 20 wickets? We haven't done that this series," he opined.

"If we do those things, we will compete with India."

Even after a demoralizing series defeat, du Plessis said there is a lot on stake considering the ICC World Test Championship points system.

India cemented their number one berth in the Test championship and topped the tables with 80 points. The Proteas, however, are languishing at the 7th place.

Markram's needless injury is a major blow to Proteas

South Africa are reeling from Aiden Markram's needless absence as he injured himself while taking his anger out at a solid object in Pune. Perhaps, he followed Mitchell Marsh who also got his hand injured in a similar rage episode and got ruled out from the upcoming first Test against Pakistan.

Markram apologized to his team members after the incident, but the swashbuckling opener is understandably livid with himself after bagging two ducks in the series.

South Africa captain has even mulled over sending someone else at the toss in place of him for tomorrow's final Test after nine coin toss losses on the trot since July 2015.

"So hoping that we can start with the toss." He said while sharing his helplessness in the matter of toss.

"Probably I will send somebody else to the toss tomorrow, I'll give you that, because my record so far hasn't been great, and then if we put big runs on the board in the first innings, that's where we need to start." He added.

"If we get runs in the first innings, then anything from there is possible," remarked du Plessis.

Du Plessis while assessing the pitch conditions said, "The pitch looks a little bit drier, a little bit crustier, so first-innings runs are going to be vital, and then anything is possible in the second innings."

Squads

India: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second