South Africa seeks change of fortune in third test against England
PORT ELIZABETH: South African captain Faf du Plessis He returns to one of his most productive places, seeking a change of form and fortune in the third Test against England, starting at St George's Park on Thursday.
In six tests on the ground where South Africa played its first test match, against England in 1888/89, Du Plessis has scored 509 runs at an average of 72.71, including two of the nine centuries of race test.
With the four matches World Test Championship series tied at 1-1, the races will be useful for the South African captain after a high score of 29 in his last seven test innings, as well as some luck with the pitch.
That's a record five (losses) in a row, Du Plessis said wryly when England Joe Root He called correctly before the second test in Cape Town last week.
Root entered the second test under some pressure, but England squared the series with a victory of 189 races and had a good game as a hitter, scoring 35 and 61, and as captain.
Now there is pressure on Du Plessis, although mainly from the public through social networks.
His place as captain and batter is not threatened, but his recent performances have been compared to those of Temba Bavuma, who fell after averaging less than 20 in 2019, despite Du Plessis being the second top scorer in the country behind Quinton de Kock last year.
What is out of the question is that South Africa needs better performances by Zubayr Hamza and Du Plessis in key batting positions number three and four. Hamza has scored 66 runs in four innings and Du Plessis 69.
Du Plessis will also want to prop up his win-loss ratio as defeats as captain.
When South Africa completed a series victory against Australia two years ago, they had won 15 and lost five of 23 tests under their leadership.
Since then, several leading players have left the stage and the Proteas only have three wins to establish against eight defeats.
Five of those losses were in Sri Lanka and India, each time after Du Plessis lost the launch in countries where the launch is usually more important than in South Africa.
However, it could be said that the worst defeat of the team was in St George's Park last February when they were defeated by Sri Lanka in three days, after Du Plessis won the draw.
The captain scored 25 and 50 not in what was largely a sad batting performance against the modest opposition.
England will ride a wave of confidence after Newlands, although they have two selection dilemmas.
After an injury that ended with the tour of James Anderson, who took seven lands in Cape Town, they have to choose between the reliability of Chris wakes up and the rhythm of Jofra Archer or Mark Wood, who have recovered from an injury.
They also have to decide whether to stay with Dom Bess, who plays out of roulette, who constantly played in Newlands, or return with the left point guard Jack Leach, who came as the bowler of first choice.
Leach has not played in a match due to illness, but is fit again and available for selection.
Alternatively, they can set aside both specialized spinners and play an additional sealer, using Root and Joe Denly's part-time spin variations to close the gap.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Dean Elgar, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Joe Root (captain), Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wkt), Sam Curran, Dom Bess or Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer or Chris wakes up or Mark Wood.
Referees: Bruce Oxenford, Rod Tucker (both AUS)
TV Referee: Joel Wilson (SIO)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)