Faf du Plessis has insisted that he and Proteas coach Ottis Gibson have never asked for ‘ridiculous’ home pitches to be prepared, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
There has been much talk and speculation about the pitches prepared for the current Test series between South Africa and Pakistan. The wickets have heavily suited the Proteas’ deadly pace attack, and were crucial to the first two Tests ending much earlier than scheduled. The first Test in Centurion lasted just three days, while the second Test in Cape Town ended halfway through the first session on day four.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur slated the South African pitches in a press conference on Thursday, expressing his view that neither wickets were good enough for Test cricket.
Du Plessis, who scored his first Test century (103) at Newlands on day two, admitted that the pitches have been difficult to bat on, but added that they have not made batting impossible. These were the same sentiments shared by Temba Bavuma (75), who shared a 156-run partnership with Du Plessis on day two.
The Proteas captain insisted that the Proteas have never asked for anything untoward from the groundsmen responsible for local pitches.
‘We never ask for ridiculous pitches. We just ask for pace and bounce,’ Du Plessis said on Sunday.
‘You have to adapt your game, and Temba [Bavuma] was a great example. In two Test matches in a row on tough pitches he has scored runs, and it shows you that it is possible if you apply yourself mentally and you have a technique.
‘I think maybe we just speak about it more openly than you possibly would have heard about in the past,’ he added.
‘Our question to any groundsman is always if the pitch has pace and bounce … that’s always what we ask for. We don’t ask for anything more than that.
‘Everyone expected this wicket to get worse because of the cracks, but it actually got better,’ added Du Plessis.