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

  • Mayers century lays foundation for Barbados' win over Leewards Mayers century lays foundation for Barbados' win over Leewards

    Kyle Mayers scored a better than a run-a-ball century as Barbados defeated the Leeward Islands by 32 runs in Wednesday’s round of matches in the Colonial Medical Super 50 Cup in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

  • Pucovski takes himself out of contention for Australia Test selection Pucovski takes himself out of contention for Australia Test selection

    Will Pucovski has pulled out of contention to be selected for Australia's Test squad against Pakistan to focus on his mental health.

    The 21-year-old Australian batsman had been in line to push for the 14-man side, which will be named on Thursday ahead of the two-Test series starting November 21.

    Pucovski has made a strong start in the Sheffield Shield, scoring 123 runs for Victoria against South Australia, while also impressing on tour with Australia A in England earlier in 2019.

    He was also selected for an Australia A side that took on Pakistan in a three-day tour match in Perth this week. 

    Having previously taken two breaks to deal with his mental wellbeing, Pucovski informed Australia's management that he was struggling during Tuesday's evening session, as his side collapsed in their first innings.

    "We applaud Will for having the courage to discuss his situation with team management in Perth," Cricket Australia's manager of national teams Ben Oliver said in a statement.

    "Will's decision not to nominate for Test selection was the right one in the circumstances and one that everyone in the Australian cricket family supports.

    "Mental health is a complex issue that unfortunately impacts many young men and women in our society. By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental wellbeing.

    "The most important thing now is for Will to be given the time, space and expert support that he needs to return to full health as soon as possible. I speak on behalf of everyone in Australian cricket when I say we wish Will the very best in his recovery."

    Pucovski's decision comes on the back of Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell confirming he is taking time off to address "difficulties" relating to his mental wellbeing.

  • Virat Kohli vows India will not get distracted by 'exciting' first day-night Test Virat Kohli vows India will not get distracted by 'exciting' first day-night Test

    India are excited for their first day-night Test but captain Virat Kohli insists they have not overlooked their opening match against Bangladesh.

    The two-Test series between India and Bangladesh begins in Indore on Thursday, before a maiden pink-ball match for both teams commences at Eden Gardens on November 22.

    The match in Kolkata will leave newly promoted Afghanistan and Ireland as the only teams yet to play a day-night Test.

    Kohli anticipates the fast bowlers getting plenty of joy under the lights but assured India's main objective is getting a positive result in Indore.

    "It's quite exciting. I think it's a new way to bring excitement to Test cricket. We are all very excited about that," Kohli, who was rested for the 2-1 Twenty20 series victory over Bangladesh, told a pre-match news conference on Wednesday.

    "The pink ball I played [on Tuesday], I felt it swings a lot more as compared to the red ball because there's extra lacquer on the ball which doesn't go away too fast. And the seam holds upright quite a bit.

    "I think if the pitch has extra help for the bowlers then the bowlers will be in the game, especially fast bowlers, throughout the course of the Test match.

    "I don't quite know how the old ball behaves with the dew and the lacquer going off. It will be interesting to see how much the old ball does. With the pink ball, with the pitch having enough, the life in it will be a very important factor.

    "In Test cricket I don't think you can afford to take focus away at all, not even one session, not even one over. With the red ball you need to be absolutely precise in your focus, every game that you play, every ball that you play, every situation that you are in.

    "Our primary focus is tomorrow's Test match. When the pink-ball Test match arrives, as I said we will be quite excited about it."

    Bangladesh will be without captain Shakib Al Hasan due to a two-year ban for ICC anti-corruption breaches, while Tamim Iqbal withdrew from the squad to be with his wife ahead of the birth of their second child.

    Mominul Haque expects Bangladesh to rise to the task of playing without two key figures and does not plan to change his approach despite being named stand-in skipper.

    "I do not think being the captain will change my batting style. I will apply the same composure I did before and will bat in the same manner," said the 28-year-old.

    "Being a captain will help me become more responsible and it will further improve my cricketing knowledge. As a captain, it is a good opportunity for me to showcase my skills. It will be all about adjusting the mental aspect of the game.

    "It will be challenging to play without Shakib and Tamim, but the guys are up for the challenge."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.