Faf harbours no grudges against Abbott but is still far from amused
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis harbours no grudges against Kyle Abbott but said his decision to take up a Kolpak contract last week messed up with the team's preparation for Thursday's third test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.
Du Plessis equated the mini-turmoil to the “MintGate” saga that brewed into a full-blown storm after South Africa handed Australia an innings defeat at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart to win their third consecutive test series in Australia.
“I'll use the Australian series as an example where we played amazing cricket and led the series 2-0 and there's other stuff that influences and takes the shine from the performances‚" De Plessis said.
"That's draining and in a perfect world that's something you don't want‚ but it is what it is.
"We respect Kyle's decision and what's left is for us to look forward to the next test match and build a new bowling unit and see who are going to be the guys who will lead our bowling attack for the next five years.”
Wayne Parnell will replace Abbott in the match-day 11.
Parnell played the last of his four tests against Australia in Port Elizabeth nearly three years ago.
“Wayne offers something different‚ that being a left-arm seamer.
"In a perfect world‚ that's the variety you'd love to have to Kagiso Rabada's pace and Vernon Philander's relentlessness.
"Then there's the left-arm seamer that completes things but that's in a perfect world.
"He ticks the variety part but the challenge is to see how he fits in with the consistency part that's required in test cricket.
"I'm excited to see how he's improved but I do think he's a much better player now.”
So comfortable is life for Du Plessis that he can contemplate taking part in his second dead rubber in his tenure as test captain.
That used to be the preserve of former Australian test captain and current Channel Nine commentator Mark Taylor.
While the spotlight will be on Hashim Amla's 100th test‚ Du Plessis threw in a quick reminder and said a test match still has to be played and they have to regain the ruthlessness that disappeared in the third test against Australia in Adelaide last year.
“Complacency is something that will creep into the dressing room and it needs to be nipped in the bud.
"Expectation is a very dangerous thing when you just expect things to happen.
"It's about being ruthless and making sure we're moving into a space where we're actually starting to dominate.
"If you don't do it now in the third test‚ you'll creep back into the old habits.”
“We went to India and the manner in which we were punished‚ it felt like it wasn't a contest and it wasn't close.
"Teams that dominate at home are normal but the best teams are the ones that go away from home and win in different conditions.
"The Sri Lankan side is not playing as well as they would like in foreign conditions but two months ago‚ they beat a very good Australian side 3-0.
"It's about applying yourself in foreign conditions and we don't see them as weak.”
- TMG Digital