SA’s thinking muddled when playing spin bowling in third Test‚ says Faf du Plessis

"For him to get five wickets so quickly was weak batting from our side”

21 January 2020 - 10:38 By Alvin Reeves
Faf du Plessis will be desperate for some runs to inspire his team to square up the series against England in the final and fourth Test.
Faf du Plessis will be desperate for some runs to inspire his team to square up the series against England in the final and fourth Test.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Captain Faf du Plessis believes South Africa’s thinking was muddled when playing spin bowling in the third Test defeat against England at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

The visitors took an unassailable 2-1 series lead after an innings and 53-run thrashing of an ailing South African side.

It was clear over five days that South Africa’s struggle with spin was not just isolated to their recent tour of India where conditions favoured the home team.

Dom Bess and England captain Joe Root both ran through Proteas’ top order claiming 10 wickets between them over two innings.

And they did it with relative ease as well.

“I think we weren’t clear enough‚” Du Plessis said post-match.

“We didn’t expect the ball to spin as much and therefore we weren’t strong enough mentally to deal with him (Bess) on day one.

"For him to get five wickets so quickly was weak batting from our side.”

Du Plessis thought England also struggled with the turn.

“I think it was the same for England. I mean Kesh (Maharaj) got five as well. Of course‚ Stokes played him well and probably Ollie Pope as well.”

The 34-year-old said the team’s need more to have better awareness when playing spin.

“I think the difference is the understanding of what you need to do to play spin. What we need to do better as a batting unit is to understand application at the crease in your first 30 or 40 balls.

“You need to make sure that you trust your defence. What we are doing is we losing wickets in clusters and that’s always a big sin in any format that you play.”

“At the end of the day‚ you have to find a way that is your way and what works for you and your game plan.”

The fourth and final Test starts at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.


X