The Proteas head on to PE on a bounce-back mission after conceding a 1-0 deficit in the four-match Test series against Australia.
Date: Friday, 9 March – Tuesday, 13 March.
Time: 10:00 (SAST).
Venue: St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.
Live Stream & TV: SABC 3, SuperSport 2 (South Africa), Channel 9 (Australia) Sony Ten 1 & Sony Ten 3 (India), Sky Sports Main Event (UK).
The Proteas go into the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth on the back foot, following a heavy 118-run defeat in the first match played at Kingsmead.
If history is to play a big part in this particular contest, then the home side might as well kiss their dream of their first home series triumph against Australia since readmission, as it is the men from Down Under who boast an impressive record of four wins and one draw in this very venue.
Despite valiant efforts from Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock in the fourth innings in Durban, the home side were easily brushed aside – although the batting display from the duo went some way in putting the slightest semblance of respectability to the losing margin.
Concerns over the batting unit have been an long-standing issue with triple figure scores increasingly becoming a rarity among the top order, more worryingly the senior trio of Hashim Amla, captain Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers.
The 147-run stand between Markram, who made his third Test century in just his seventh match, and Quinton de Kock did however provide a hopeful glimpse into the future, along with the contribution of Theunis de Bruyn, who’s resistance laid the foundation for what appeared to be a fightback.
Faf du Plessis (captain),
Quinton de Kock,
Theunis de Bruyn,
AB de Villiers,
Steve Smith (c),
Pleasant weather conditions are expected throughout the five days with Sunday the only day with a bit of rain forecast.
In the lead up to the first Test at Kingsmead, du Plessis revealed that there were no consultations with groundsmen to request a specific type of surface for the two opening matches of the four-match series.
Much like the surface used in the first Test, the St George’s Park pitch has somewhat slowed down in recent years and has, at times, produced some “tennis ball bounce”.
Slow-left arm bowler, Keshav Maharaj, who registered figures of 9/225 across both innings in the previous contest could once again play a big part on what is expected to be a slow surface that’s a bit on the dry side.