South Africa not in quest of bowler-friendly pitches against Australia, says Faf du Plessis

Du Plessis had openly urged the curators to prepare quick pitches against India.

Faf du Plessis | Getty

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Wednesday (February 28) stated they have not insisted for bowler-friendly pitches for their upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, starting on Thursday (March 1) at Kingsmead, Durban.

The recently concluded three-match Test series between India and South Africa saw the batsmen of both teams facing nightmares on pitches where there was pace and bounce as well as the lateral movement.

While the Newlands strip produced scores of 286, 209, 130 and 135 in the four innings of the first Test that ended in just three days, the Wanderers deck for the third Test was deemed as poor by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

 “I learnt my lesson. Obviously, when you’re playing against a sub-continent team (Asian), you try to get an advantage somehow but Australia and South Africa are two similar teams,” Du Plessis told a news conference.

 “We play in the same conditions. There’s nothing different that we are expecting. We both will play on what we get. We’ve not asked for anything specific,” he added.

Du Plessis also hinted that the strip for the Test series opener against Australia at Kingsmead will be a slow one.

“The Durban wicket over the last few years has definitely slowed down a bit. That’s the nature of the square. I expect it to be quite slow. It might take a bit of turn. If anything a little tennis-ball bounce,” the South Africa captain said.

While the wickets in the next two Test venues – Port Elizabeth and Cape Town – could also prove to be slow but the final Test in Johannesburg is again expected to be a favouarable one for the quickies.

It is worth mentioning here that following India’s 63-run victory at the Wanderers, the ICC imposed three-demerit points on the Johannesburg venue. The match officials had raised concerns over the players’ safety after numerous batsmen were struck on the body during the test.

In fact, the final session of third day’s play at Wanderers was called off after a vicious bouncer from India speedster Jasprit Bumrah struck Proteas opener Dean Elgar’s helmet and he immediately called for medical attention.


By Salman Anjum - 01 Mar, 2018

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