Proteas batsman, Faf Du Plessis, has stressed the importance of adapting to the change of conditions at St George’s Park for the second Test match against the West Indies starting on Friday. The conditions in Port Elizabeth are traditionally slower and drier, compared to the sporting kind experienced in Centurion. “I think the most importance aspect of our game that we will need to work hard on is patience. I think conditions like this will probably bring them (West Indies) more into the game, it will be more even conditions. SuperSport Park was seaming and seamer friendly, and if our bowlers get a wicket like that they are dangerous. The PE wicket is a lot slower and spin does play more of a role so I think their bowling attack will be a lot happier with these conditions. Their batting unit will also be happier, the ball will probably not be as quick and won’t seam around, it will be a normal PE wicket so it will suit their style of play,” Du Plessis said.
South Africa are wary of a West Indies backlash, particularly at a venue where the tourists achieved their only Test win in South Africa, a 128-run win in 2007. “The West Indies, as everyone knows, are a hot and cold team. They are either brilliant or they get a performance where we were outstanding in the previous game. We know and we expect that the West Indies, after performance like that, will try to go the other way and be brilliant. We are aware of that and it’s important for us as a team to make sure that if they get into a position of strength we hold on for a while and try to get back the momentum on to our side, because if we have the momentum we are dangerous,” said South Africa’s T20 captain. Du Plessis was dismissed for his first Test duck during South Africa’s only innings in Centurion last week, but says he will take confidence from his good record at the ground ahead of the match.
The 30-year-old scored his highest Test score of 137 against New Zealand in 2013, and a half-century in the 231-run win against Australia earlier this year. “From a personal point of view I have enjoyed good success here at this ground, it has been good to me. I’m going to reflect on past performances and that will stand me in good stead. From a team point of view, we played really well against Australia. We know what worked against Australia so we have a lot to take from that game,” he said. Meanwhile, Imran Tahir has been named as the replacement for the injured Robin Peterson.
Peterson was struck on the left index finger while fielding a ball during training on Tuesday morning, and received stitches to the finger. Peterson will be unable to take any further part in the series. Tahir will join the squad on Wednesday morning.