Faf sim­ply loves Ade­laide Oval

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART HESS stu­art.hess@inl.co.za

FAF DU PLESSIS and the Ade­laide Oval – it’s a rich his­tory, colour­ful and con­tro­ver­sial, be­tween a player and a sto­ried venue, that started with him nearly fall­ing flat on his face in his first match there.

“I love com­ing to Ade­laide it’s one of my favourite grounds, I’ve got some ex­tremely good mem­o­ries here,” Du Plessis said ahead of to­day’s sec­ond one-day in­ter­na­tional be­tween South Africa and Aus­tralia at what was once upon a time the most pic­turesque venue Down Un­der.

“This and New­lands are my two favourite grounds.”

For Du Plessis it’s a spe­cial venue where some ca­reer high­lights were achieved. It started with his Test de­but there in 2012, which fea­tured the em­bar­rass­ing episode of him stum­bling down the stairs of the Brad­man Pavil­ion as he made his way out to bat.

He went onto score 78 in his first Test in­nings, and fol­lowed that up with a more mem­o­rable un­beaten 110 in the sec­ond in­nings.

Four years later, the third and fi­nal Test be­tween the two teams was no less mem­o­rable. SA had al­ready won the series, but Du Plessis and his team ar­rived in the South Aus­tralian cap­i­tal amidst a brouhaha over a mint, saliva, a cricket ball and video show­ing Du Plessis shin­ing the ball which went vi­ral. “My char­ac­ter was tested through that week,” re­marked Du Plessis.

The SA cap­tain, hav­ing been greeted by a ca­coph­ony of boos as he walked to the crease, went onto to make what the cricket fra­ter­nity de­scribed as one of the great “f&*# you” hun­dreds of all time, un­leash­ing his pent up fury against the Aus­tralian bowlers. It didn’t pre­vent a loss, but Du Plessis had made his point. This time there is less at­ten­tion on Du Plessis and more on Aus­tralian cricket.

“The last few series against Aus­tralia I feel there’s been more to it than just cricket and then as a team you have to make the shift and make the fo­cus about cricket,” Du Plessis added.

Which is ex­actly what Du Plessis will hope hap­pens in the sec­ond ODI. A win, gives SA the series, and will make for an­other happy me­mory for Du Plessis at the Ade­laide Oval.

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