Some of the younger players have come under criticism for the way they have handled the conditions in India during the Test series which the home side have already clinched 2-0 with the third match beginning here on December 3.

"I'm a senior player and I'm finding it tough because the conditions dictate the way you play and your performances. It's important for us to try and keep the younger players positive, and we've done that," du Plessis said.

Like his captain Hashim Amla, du Plessis called the Indian surfaces the most difficult he has faced and cautioned against using them as a benchmark to assess their performances. "These have been the toughest conditions that I have played under, it's also been a challenge for the young guys coming in," he said.

"It's a hard task for them because they get judged by playing Test cricket in these conditions where you have found that even our experienced players have found it tough. We have to keep motivating them and to keep the spirits high," du Plessis was quoted as saying.

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