Cape Town - Faf du Plessis expects a
grinding and patient assault from his bowlers when they resume on day three of
the second Test match against New Zealand at SuperSport Park in
Centurion on Monday.
Du Plessis batted for over six hours en-route to his fifth
Test century, and says the deteriorating conditions will be a big factor with
some early signs of variable bounce during his mammoth knock.
"In hindsight it looks like a
good toss to have lost," he admitted to the media after the day’s play on
"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.
"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 has been
known to grind out long patient performances over his 31-match Test career, and
says his innings is what was needed for the team with three days still to play
in the match. His century put an end to an 18-month spell without a century, a
relief after months of frustration despite feeling confident in the nets.
"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 the day on 38/3 with captain Kane
Williamson (15 not out) and Henry Nicholls (4 not out) at the crease.