Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov. 8 : Faf du Plessis, who is leading South Africa in the absence of regular skipper AB de Villiers in series down under, has described the 177-run victory in the first Test against Australia at WACA in Perth as "the best Test" of his career.
After being restricted to two seamers post the injury to bowling spearhead Dale Steyn on the second day of the match itself, the Proteas put in a spirited performance to go one-up in the three-match series against the Steve Smith-led side.
"For my career that I've been involved in that is one of the most special days...To turn it around 360 degrees after day one when we were under the pump and under a lot of pressure, and in the position that we were in to turn it around on day two was one of the best days of cricket that I have been involved in," Du Plessis was quoted as saying by Sport24.
"To be a seamer down pretty much the whole Test match and to do what we have done; we always joke that if you lose a seamer in a three-seam attack it's 99% impossible to win a Test match because there is just too much of a workload on the bowlers," he added.
The stand-in skipper credited Man of the Match Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, who kept on the pressure on the Aussies and relentlessly bowled in good areas to make sure the team could rotate the guys from the other end and build a bit of pressure.
"That is right up there as one of the best Test matches of my career," he said. The 32-year-old also heaped praise on his resolute bowling unit, which never backed down despite the high workload and long spells on the final day.
Du Plessis also made a special mention of Rabada, who took a five-wicket haul and cracked the backbone of the Australian batting line-up.
"I'm incredibly proud of him (Rabada). I have a lot of respect for anyone who puts up their hand and does the hard yards. KG just wanted the ball, every time I asked him if he was tired or done he said 'no, you're not taking the ball out of my hand'.
That is a sign of a champion bowler for me, someone who wants to be in the fight the whole time and wants to make sure he does the hard work," he said.
The two teams will next lock horns in the second Test starting from November 12 at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.