Captain Faf du Plessis has confirmed series debutant Rassie van der Dussen will be named in the Proteas XI for this week’s second Test against England at Newlands ahead of the fit-again Temba Bavuma.
Bavuma has recovered from a hip injury that prevented participation in last week’s first Test in Centurion. Van der Dussen, however, will be retained after scoring a half-century on debut at SuperSport Park.
‘We feel its the right thing to do to stick with Rassie. As a player, you feel like you get a bit confidence when you get an extended run – runs or no runs. Luckily he scored some runs in the first Test,’ said Du Plessis.
‘A big part of international cricket is the mental aspect of belonging. Rassie has got a real composure to him and a presence when he bats. He ticks all the right boxes.’
The right-handed Bavuma has scored just one Test century since his 2014 debut. His last dozen Test innings have not yielded one half-ton.
‘If you’re not finding yourself starting now, it’s about weight of runs,’ added Du Plessis.
‘Temba was injured before the start of the series but it was a talking point even before the series – whose positions do we need to make sure there is more competition for?
‘It’s about finding guys that are knocking on the door all the time to push us to a level where we can take this batting lineup to win games of cricket consistently. Temba will be the first to say that his performance over the last while wasn’t where it needed to be. Weight of runs would be the way back into the team, like it would for anyone.’
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