Proteas

Proteas prepared to put everything on the line

2017-03-15 14:21
Faf du Plessis (Getty)

Wellington - The Proteas will be treating the second Test match against New Zealand starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Thursday as a 'must-win'.

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis emphasised the importance of achieving a favourable result following the drawn first Test in Dunedin earlier this week, which has left the series closely balanced with two matches to play.

"Yes I would, but I would weigh up how far I would be able to push the boundary," Du Plessis said when asked if he would risk losing the match to win it. 

"From a 'setting up the game' point of view, we will play the match like we play every single game," he explained. "We will try and set it up so that if the opportunity presents itself later in the Test match I will be looking at that."

Du Plessis has asked for an improved effort from the batting line-up, which has yet to fire as a collective despite posting competitive scores.

His fifties in both innings', Dean Elgar's man-of-the-match contributions and Temba Bavuma's half-century were the only standout performances from the first match, a disappointing feature for a line-up that prides itself on consistency.

"Once again some consistency," he said. "As a batting unit we have been good at stepping up; different guys in different series. There has been a hundred in every innings that we have played but for me we haven't had that consistency that I often ask for from the batsmen.

"One hundred in a series from each guy is not enough, it's about raising the consistency bar. In every series, we rely on two batters to make a play in the top six, that needs to be better, we need four out of the six batters firing."

Du Plessis will be banking on the experience of pace spearheads Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, and the strike power from Kagiso Rabada, in conditions he hopes will be more 'normal' than Dunedin.

Philander (6-81) and Morkel (6-23) were the chief destroyers in the drawn match played in 2012 and will provide valuable insight and perspective to another unnatural challenge - the wind. 

"Morne knows about the wind, he has spoken to us about it," Du Plessis said.

"The experience that he has is vital to us as a team and to the bowling unit. The confidence they take from that is a good thing for us. I don’t know if the conditions will be the same as five years ago but we will have to wait and see.

"That is going to be a challenge," he said of the wind. "New Zealand will be used to playing in these conditions. We have Port Elizabeth and Cape Town where the wind blows, but it doesn't feel like this. Especially for the guys who have to bowl into the wind, that is the biggest challenge for the seamers.

"Spinners have to bowl with the wind against them and sometimes that is difficult. From a batting perspective, it can work on your balance if the wind pushes you over."

The second Test match is scheduled to start on Thursday morning (00:00 SA time).

Read more on:    black caps  |  proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
South Africa v Zimbabwe, Port Elizabeth 10:00
Friday, 05 January 2018
South Africa v India, Cape Town 10:00
Saturday, 13 January 2018
South Africa v India, Centurion 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.