Wiser SA unlikely to ‘rest’ players for the final Test at the Wanderers

South African captain Faf du Plessis during day 4 of the 2nd Castle Lager Test match between South Africa and Pakistan at PPC Newlands on January 06, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
South African captain Faf du Plessis during day 4 of the 2nd Castle Lager Test match between South Africa and Pakistan at PPC Newlands on January 06, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

Despite an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series‚ South Africa are unlikely to ‘rest’ players for the final Test at the Wanderers.

The folly of resting players after an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series came to bite South Africa in the back when they lost their last Test against India last season.

“Against India we had the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin at two-nil last season‚” said captain Faf du Plessis.

“We then tried one or two combinations and in hindsight it felt like we took our foot off the gas a little bit.

“You don’t get the opportunity to win 3-0 in a series.

"We are learning from that so we will probably stick to our strongest team. To keep our foot on the gas.”

Du Plessis said if the conditions warrant the same side for the third Test at the Wanderers they would stick with the same players‚ even if it means spinner Keshav Maharaj misses out again.

“He our best spinner and will be for some time but we have a horses for courses approach‚” explained Du Plessis.

Coach Ottis Gibson backed that view‚ especially the deployment of a four pronged pace attack.

“That is what I got raised on‚" Gibson said.

"When I got into cricket it was similar.

"When we have four fast bowlers with the quality we have here it would be silly not to use them‚ especially when you get conditions like we had here.

“When we go away and we meet different conditions we will make a change.

"But as long as the conditions are like this it would be silly not to play those guys with the quality that they have.

"They have the skill‚ the fitness levels‚ the way they kept coming in.

“They are all very different. Duanne (Olivier) is fast and aggressive‚ Dale (Steyn) is highly skilled and pitches the ball up‚ Vernon (Philander) is very accurate and (Kagiso) Rabada does a bit of everything.

“There is a lot of variety there as well.”

When Lungi Ngidi returns from injury Gibson will have the option of selecting five quicks‚ and as much as that may sound like nirvana for a former fast bowler‚ that is a little removed from reality.

“It is perhaps a little far fetched‚" Gibson said.

"We draw the limit at four. Certainly if we have a high quality all rounder‚ like we have in Chris Morris if he gets himself fit and firing he can be that allrounder.”

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