Despite the Test series loss 0-2 to South Africa, Virat Kohli-led India have received some positive words from the opposition camp. The Proteas' star batsman AB de Villiers praised Kohli's men as "fighters" and expected them to bounce back in the third and final Test in Johannesburg starting January 24.
India were comfortably beaten by South Africa in the opening two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion. The margin of defeats increased. First, it was 72 runs and then 135 runs.
Much was expected from Kohli and his men. Many had backed them to create history in the "Rainbow Nation" considering that no Indian team had won a Test series there. But all the confidence, hype have vanished now.
They visitors will now want to avoid a whitewash at The New Wanderers stadium in Johannesburgh. De Villiers knows India will eye a victory there but he wants to make it 3-0.
"We've got a big third Test to come still and we know we have to play well. The Indians will obviously love to make it 2-1 and make a bit of a comeback in the series," De Villiers said on Thursday (January 18).
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"If we keep that high intensity and adapting to conditions, we'll keep them under pressure at the Wanderers and hopefully make it 3-0," he added.
De Villiers said he and his team-mates were "surprised" by India's bowling attack, which has taken 20 wickets each in both Tests.
"I think their bowling attack surprised us all, it's definitely more skillful and they have more pace from what we were expecting. Their bowlers have adapted well to the conditions. They (Indians) are fighters , they fight wherever they go and they got the skills. But we have our plans in place," he said.
The Test rubber will be followed by six One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.