Port Elizabeth - Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis has stressed
the importance of adapting to the change of conditions at St George’s Park for
the second Test against the West Indies starting on Friday.
The conditions in Port Elizabeth are traditionally slower
and drier, compared to the sporting kind experienced in Centurion.
“I think the most
important aspect of our game that we will need to work hard on is patience,” Du
Plessis said on Tuesday afternoon. “I think conditions like this will probably
bring them (West Indies) more into the game, it will be more even conditions. SuperSport
Park was seaming and seamer friendly, and if our bowlers get a wicket like that
they are dangerous.
“The PE wicket is a
lot slower and spin does play more of a role so I think their bowling attack
will be a lot happier with these conditions. Their batting unit will also be
happier, the ball will probably not be as quick and won’t seam around, it will
be a normal PE wicket so it will suit their style of play.”
The Proteas are wary of a West Indies backlash, particularly
at a venue where the tourists achieved their only Test win in South Africa, a
128-run win in 2007.
“The West Indies, as everyone knows, are a hot and cold
team,” Du Plessis explained. “They are either brilliant or they get a
performance where we were outstanding in the previous game. We know and we
expect that the West Indies, after performance like that, will try to go the
other way and be brilliant. We are aware of that and it’s important for us as a
team to make sure that if they get into a position of strength we hold on for a
while and try to get back the momentum on to our side, because if we have the
momentum we are dangerous.”
Du Plessis was
dismissed for his first Test duck during South Africa’s only innings at
SuperSport last week, but says he will take confidence from his good record at
the ground ahead of the match. The 30-year-old scored his highest Test score of
137 against New Zealand in 2013, and a half-century in the 231-run win against
Australia earlier this year.
“From a personal point of view I have enjoyed good success
here at this ground, it has been good to me,” he said. “I’m going to reflect on
past performances and that will stand me in good stead. From a team point of
view, we played really well against Australia. We know what worked against
Australia so we have a lot to take from that game.”