Faf du Plessis expects ruthlessness from his bowlers on day three against New Zealand in Centurion.
The Proteas captain expects a grinding and patient assault from his bowling attack after starting off strong towards the end of day two with the visitors on 38-3 at stumps.
Du Plessis batted for over six hours on his journey to his fifth Test century, and has mentioned how deteriorating conditions played a big factor in performances with early bounce being the most evident factor during his magnificent innings.
‘In hindsight it looks like a good toss to have lost,’ he admitted to the media after the day’s play on Sunday. ‘It looks like the cracks are going to play a role. If our bowlers can be relentless on hitting that fourth stump back of a length with a few bouncers, it’s going to be challenging.
‘We are expecting it to be tough, we aren’t expecting to just come in and get wickets tomorrow,’ he said. ‘We want to work hard for our wickets and if they come our way a little bit easier that will be great. We are expecting a grafting day with the ball tomorrow to set it up for the following two days.’
The 32-year-old is known for his patient batting approach biding time and playing a supporting role to the fast scorers in the team. This was the first century in 18 months for Du Plessis and means that his hard work in the nets finally paid off.
‘I have been feeling like I have been hitting the ball quite nicely in the build-up to this Test match,’ he said of his personal form. ‘All of the batters are in good form so for me it was a case of making sure I knuckle down in my game plan, which was for me to be patient and to wait for the bowlers to bowl in my area, that’s when I play my best Test cricket.
‘When I do score big runs in Test cricket it is when I play those gritty innings’ where I almost mentally tire the opposition out, and when I get the opportunity to score a lot quicker I look to do that. According to my game plan that is exactly how I wanted to put my innings together.’
New Zealand will resume their innings on 38-3 with captain Kane Williamson (15 ) and Henry Nicholls (4) looking to take the fight to South Africa as the Proteas bowlers look to keep pressure on their opponents.