Also on cricketcountry.com
Feb 20, 2014
Graeme Smith announced three changes in the South African XI for the second Test at the toss, one of which was introducing Quinton de Kock to Test cricket. Apart from de Kock, Dean Elgar came back into the side along with Wayne Parnell.
All-rounder Ryan McLaren, opener Alviro Petersen and JP Duminy had to sit out from the ongoing Test match for varied reasons. And on the other hand, Australia maintained the same XI again.
The proceedings for the second Test started where the first Test ended, with Australia still on top. On a slower wicket than at Centurion, South Africa lost their captain, Smith in the fifth over of the innings to a late inswinger from Ryan Harris, which had Smith all squared up in front of the stumps.
And then Mitchell Johnson too joined the party. In the very next over, Johnson got rid off Hashim Amla, who departed without disturbing the scorers. Amla too was trapped in front by Johnson. He initially thought of challenging the umpire’s decision, but then after a discussion with Dean Elgar at the other end, he decided otherwise and walked back to the pavilion.
Amla’s wicket brought Faf du Plessis to the crease. And since then, du Plessis along with Elgar have stabilised the South African innings, resisting all the pressure from the Australians. Elgar took 19 balls to get off the mark, but he has put a price tag on his wicket so far. He has coped well with the late movement of Harris and Peter Siddle so far, although Johnson’s short ones have bothered him a little.
On the other hand, du Plessis has looked in really good touch, middling almost everything, and as usual, rock solid in his defense. Both the batsmen have been cautious to start off, but have ensured that South Africa haven’t slipped any further after the early jolts.
Michael Clarke has rotated his bowlers well so far, introducing Nathan Lyon pretty early into the attack as well.
It should be an interesting post-lunch session at Port Elizabeth if the rains stay away, and the South African batsmen come back as determined as they left.
South Africa 64 for 2 (Dean Elgar 23*, Faf du Plessis 26*; Ryan Harris 1 for 10) vs Australia
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