I'll send someone else to the toss! – Du Plessis desperate to change South Africa's fortunes

By Sports Desk October 18, 2019

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis joked he is considering sending another player to the toss for the third Test against India as he aims to correct his side's recent woes.

The Proteas are 2-0 down in the series after suffering heavy defeats in Visakhapatnam and Pune.

With the three-match series already lost, South Africa head to Ranchi looking to restore some pride as a frustrating 2019 draws closer towards a conclusion.

Du Plessis cited winning the toss as a crucial factor but, with South Africa having lost their last nine coin-flips on Asian soil going back to 2015, failing to win any of the subsequent Tests – the Proteas' skipper conceded he might have to send out a substitute in order to change their luck.

"We've felt that we've done it [compete] in stages, more probably in the first Test, so hoping that we can start with the toss tomorrow," Du Plessis told reporters.

"Probably I will [send] somebody else to the toss, I'll give you that, because my record so far hasn't been great, and then, yeah, if we put big runs on the board in the first innings, that's where we need to start."

Du Plessis also acknowledged his side – who lost the first Test by 203 runs and the second by an innings – can only regain confidence by taking the fight to India.

"It is tough when you're losing," he said.

"For us, we're very, very competitive people, so it does take a dent out of your confidence, but international sport is supposed to be hard, and the guys who've stayed at the top for a long time will tell you that it comes with ups and it comes with downs, personally and from a team point of view.

"So it's important for us to understand that we have to fight our way out of these last two losses. We can't expect things just to happen."

South Africa's task has been made harder by the absence of batsman Aiden Markram, who will miss the final Test due to a wrist injury he sustained while "lashing out at a solid object" following his second-innings dismissal in Pune.

Related items

  • Maiden Mathews Test double-century puts Sri Lanka on top Maiden Mathews Test double-century puts Sri Lanka on top

    Angelo Mathews struck a brilliant maiden international double-century to give Sri Lanka a healthy lead on day four of the first Test against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club.

    Mathews spent 10 hours at the crease to make an imperious unbeaten 200 with support from Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella, who each made 63 in the tourists' 515-9 declared.

    Sri Lanka will resume on the final day looking to make quick inroads with the ball after Zimbabwe reached stumps on 30 without loss, trailing by 127.

    Mathews had waited since December 2018 to reach three figures in the longest format, but brought up his 10th Test century early on the penultimate day after Sri Lanka resumed on 295-4.

    Dhananjaya had a sixth Test half-century when he went through for a single after being struck on the glove by a Donald Tiripano, but a fifth-wicket stand of 98 ended when he drove Victor Nyauchi (3-69) to Prince Masvaure at mid-on.

    That was the only wicket to fall in the morning session and the Zimbabwe bowlers endured more frustration after lunch as Mathews, dropped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva on 108, and Dickwella increased the lead.

    Dickwella was put down by Sean Ervine on 45 and struck only three boundaries in his 15th Test half-century before being trapped lbw by Sikandar Raza, halting a stand of 126.

    Raza (3-62) saw the back of Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Embuldeniya in consecutive deliveries, but Mathews went on to become the first Sri Lankan man for five years to score a Test double-hundred.

    Kasun Rajitha's dismissal prompted Dimuth Karunaratne to declare, but Sri Lanka were unable to end the day on a high note as Masvaure and Brian Mudzinganyama saw Zimbabwe through to the close unscathed.

  • Archer pushing for Wanderers recall Archer pushing for Wanderers recall

    England paceman Jofra Archer staked his claim for a recall for the final Test against South Africa with an impressive showing in the nets on Wednesday.

    An elbow injury kept Archer out of victories at Newlands and St George's Park that have given the tourists a 2-1 lead with one match to play at the Wanderers.

    The quick could come back into the side in Johannesburg on Friday after catching the eye in practice, while England are monitoring Mark Wood after he played his first Test for 11 months in Port Elizabeth.

    England assistant coach Graham Thorpe told talkSPORT: "Jofra had good rhythm and bowled nice and quick today.

    "That's where we want Jof to be. He looks good, but he will have to come in again tomorrow and back it up.

    "The elbow problem has been a big issue for him. You can't force that, you have to wait for the player to be confident with it.

    "Mark Wood hasn't played back-to-back Test matches for a while, but he bowled exceptionally well for us in Port Elizabeth. He bowled at high speeds of 90mph plus and gave us an X-factor. We'll have to see how he is and I'm sure Woody will be really honest with us.

    "Historically, it's a pitch which has good carry and pace and generally starts softer then quickens up. It has that carry which bowlers, batters and spinners alike enjoy.

    "It would be tough if [spinner Dom] Bess didn't play this Test. He has done himself no harm, though, in the way he has come into the set-up and the way he's bowled.

    "He's progressed from the last time I saw him about six months ago and when you perform it gives you confidence. So we won't rush straight into a decision, it'll be nice to have all those options on the table."

  • Wells sinks table-topping Stars Wells sinks table-topping Stars

    Adelaide Strikers boosted their hopes of a top-two finish in the Big Bash League by recording an 11-run victory over runaway leaders Melbourne Stars.

    Jono Wells was instrumental to the Strikers' 162-4, sharing in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 71 with Matthew Short, before the duo of Peter Siddle and Rashid Khan frustrated the Stars' batsmen with the ball.

    The win saw Adelaide move above Sydney Sixers in the table, both sides on 15 points, five behind the Stars.

    Wells' knock gave the home side's innings much-needed impetus after Phil Salt, Jake Weatherald and Alex Carey all got starts without going beyond 40.

    The Tasmanian hit two sixes and four fours in a 36-ball 55 which, alongside Short's 23, gave the Adelaide bowlers something to work with.

    Michael Neser and Siddle immediately applied the pressure, with the latter also claiming the prize wicket of BBL top run-scorer Marcus Stoinis (5) after he mistimed a drive towards long-on and was snaffled by Salt.

    And the Stars were put further on the back foot when Rashid bowled the dangerous Nic Maddinson with his second ball.

    Wes Agar accounted for Nick Larkin and Glenn Maxwell and Neser snared Seb Gotch, with Adelaide always seemingly in control.

    However, Peter Handscomb (65 not out) helped the Stars reach the final over requiring 22 to complete a remarkable win.

    Home skipper Travis Head turned to veteran Siddle and he saw the Strikers home with two wickets as Melbourne were restricted to 151-8.

     

    Handy Hinchliffe 

    Clint Hinchliffe's left-arm spin had only reaped five wickets in the BBL this season but he was the Stars' best bowler while the more established Daniel Worrall and Adam Zampa struggled.

    Hinchliffe took 3-19, including a sharp caught and bowled to remove Weatherald, to keep the Strikers top order from cutting loose.


    Head Boy ends the 'Big Show'

    Melbourne's best chance of chasing down the Adelaide total rested on the shoulders of Maxwell. 

    But the 'Big Show' failed to wow the crowds as he holed out to Head off the bowling of Agar for 19.


    Super Siddle shows he's still got it

    The pressure was on Siddle at the beginning and end of the Melbourne innings and he delivered both times, finishing with figures of 4-33 from his four overs.

    The former Australia international cleverly varied his length and pace and proved far too wily for the Stars line-up.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.