Proteas hit back in ball-tampering row
HOBART: South Africa insisted a balltampering controversy had been “blown out of proportion” yesterday as they kept their focus on a third straight series win in Australia. Skipper Faf du Plessis was unmoved by accusations of tampering in South Africa’s thumping 177-run first Test win, saying Australia also got the ball to reverse-swing. Du Plessis was warned by the umpires for deliberately bouncing the ball along the ground, to rough it up, but he said there was no unfair advantage. “I think it’s been blown out of proportion. We were watching the first innings in Perth and they (Australia) got the ball to reverse in the 25th over,” he said in Hobart, where the second Test starts on Saturday.
“I was quite impressed. I was trying to see how they were doing it because that meant they were doing something right. Twenty-five overs is very early for ball to reverse. “We are a bowling attack and we enjoy bowling with a swinging ball. To say it was only for us is not true. “It was 50-50 the amount of reverse swing throughout that Test. The Aussies did it really well.” Reverse swing-when the ball moves away from its usual trajectory, usually when it is older and rougher-is unlikely in lush, damp Hobart. “Perth was really dry and extremely hard. It will be different here,” du Plessis said. “It is lush, it’s green, it’s soft, it’s wet. It will seam and swing, but won’t reverse that much.”
‘They let it slip’
The Proteas are on the verge of emulating the intimidating West Indies teams of the 1980-1990s with three straight series wins in Australia after their convincing victory in Perth. Forecast rain may thwart South Africa’s hopes of clinching the three-Test series in Tasmania, but du Plessis says his tourists are in a good space after outplaying Steve Smith’s team over four of the five days in Perth.
Du Plessis, deputizing for injured skipper AB de Villiers, says he has a team full of resilient characters while Australia will be “hurting” from their fourth straight Test defeat. South Africa have shown their strength under pressure with series triumphs on their last two trips to Australia in 2008/2009 and 2012. They have lost only one of their last seven Tests in Australia. — AFP