England opener Zak Crawley was another surprised by Faf du Plessis’ decision not to hand the new ball to premier fast bowler Kagiso Rabada.
Du Plessis has made a number of decisions that have raised eyebrows in the series with his choice to give rookie seamer Dane Paterson the first use of the new ball on Thursday.
The decision, which ‘surprised’ Crawley backfired as the England openers easily saw off Vernon Philander, who struggled on a pitch which offered little to the bowlers, and the debutant.
‘I was surprised because I thought Rabada would take the first over, let alone the new ball,’ said Crawley, who made 44 before being dismissed by Anrich Nortje.
‘I wouldn’t say it was a relief because anyone can get you out and I can understand them wanting to get the debutant into the game quickly.’
Rabada, dismissed Crawley in the second innings in Cape Town, who was clearly fired up when removing Joe Root ended day one with figures of 2-48 in 17 overs.
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