Describing the first Test against Bangladesh as ‘perfect’, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis now wants a repeat performance to show consistency.
‘We want another dominant performance,’ Du Plessis said ahead of the match in Bloemfontein, where he is expecting a wicket more suited to his pace attack than presented in Potchefstroom.
‘If we are honest with ourselves, in conditions like this, it is important that we do that against Bangladesh. On their day they can be dangerous, but we need to keep pressure on them and restrict opportunities in the game where they can get on top of us.
‘In this game it is important for me that we show that consistency. We were brilliant for five days in Potch. It was the perfect game that we played. It is important that we back it up in another game here, that consistency is the excellence we are striving for.’
The injury to Morne Morkel has presented a selection conundrum for the selectors, who are considering the options of a like-for-like swap or an extra all-rounder. Cobras quick Dane Peterson was brought into the squad after Morkel’s injury, but it is expected that Wayne Parnell, a member of the original squad, will play.
‘From a selection point of view you want to make sure the venom in your bowling attack is still the same. With Morne, KG, Dale and Vernon there is an expectation of what you are going to get. If you don’t have those guys, you are not always sure. It is important for us to look at how we can best balance the side, but still have a strong bowling attack.’
This series is the last Test series of 2017 and given the number of injuries to the squad’s leading fast bowlers, it has been the ideal opportunity for the selectors to assess the depth of fast bowling resources in the country.
‘With the big players missing, especially against teams like Bangladesh, it is important to see what your resources are,’ Du Plessis said. ‘We are unlucky that we have four bowlers injured at the same time, we have never really faced a scenario like this.’
Play is scheduled to start at 10:00am.