Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock should play their natural game as the Proteas look to avoid defeat in the third Test.
Du Plessis has been in this situation before the Proteas, and he’s pulled it off more times than not.
On his debut in 2012, he scored 110 off 376 balls to draw the second Test against Australia in Adelaide. In December 2013 in the first Test against India, the Proteas came agonisingly close to chasing down a record 458. He scored 134 off 309 balls as the Proteas came within eight runs of chasing it down, before settling for the draw.
This type of stern resistance will be needed from the skipper on day five against New Zealand, as his side look to draw the Test, win the series, and become the No 2 Test side in the world.
With the visitors still trailing by 95 runs, they’ll want to be in a position to make the Black Caps bat again, and that’s where De Kock fits in to the equation. With both players on 15, Du Plessis will be unlikely to budge too much, but De Kock will be expected to just go and play with the natural attacking flair that he always does.
‘We look for him [De Kock] to score, if he goes into a defensive mode it’s probably the worst thing for him,’ assistant coach Adrian Birrell said earlier on Tuesday.
With heavy mist and cloud cover, and rain expected after the lunch session, the morning session belongs to Du Plessis and De Kock, as they look to use their respective styles to dig the Proteas out of trouble and hang around long enough for the rain to have its say.