Proteas hope injury woes are behind them

2014-12-24 08:43

Following another injury setback within the Proteas’ squad, number-four batsman Faf du Plessis hoped it would be South Africa’s last problem as they prepared to take on the West Indies in the Boxing Day Test starting on Friday.

Robin Peterson – earmarked for the spinner’s role in the Test – sustained a cut to his left index finger and had three stitches, casting him in serious doubt for the match.

It also compounded the injury woes of the hosts as Quinton de Kock was ruled out of the entire series after injuring his ankle before the start of day three of the first Test last week.

“It’s part of sport; you go through cycles when it comes to injuries. We’ve been quite unfortunate in the last while with a lot of injuries,” Du Plessis said, when asked how South Africa were dealing with the current spate of injuries.

“It’s unfortunate, but hopefully that’s the last of it.”

Du Plessis confirmed Peterson had split the webbing of the finger, and said he had been the team’s number one choice in the spin department.

“It’s split webbing. I know because I’ve had the same thing. It takes a while for the skin to come back together and it becomes so sensitive, especially with a cricket ball.

“Here the conditions were more suited for spin, so we really feel for him.”

A frontline spinner would be a non-negotiable for the Proteas on the Port Elizabeth deck, and Du Plessis said the team had been in contact with other players to bring in to the squad as a replacement for Peterson.

The Proteas come off an innings and 220 run win over the tourists last week in Centurion, and the slower conditions on the coastal pitch would give the West Indies a better chance of competing with the top-ranked Proteas, said Du Plessis.

“Conditions like this will probably bring them more into the game.

SuperSport Park was a seamer-friendly pitch, and the Port Elizabeth wicket was a little more slow.

“Their bowling unit will be more happy and the same for the batting. The conditions being slower and lower will suit their style a bit better.”

The West Indies also have their own injury concerns. Bowler Kemar Roach withdrew from the series with an ankle injury, after bowling 15.5 overs in South Africa’s innings.

“He was their best bowler in the first Test without a shadow of doubt, so he’ll be a huge loss for them.”

South Africa last played in Port Elizabeth in February when they beat Australia. Dale Steyn got the ball to reverse in the fourth innings, taking 4/55 as the Proteas ousted the Aussies by 231 runs.

“I’ve enjoyed good success at this ground, so I’m going to reflect on past performances.

“From a team point of view we know what worked against Australia.

“There was a bit of reverse swing around, and Dale is very dangerous when the ball is reversing.”

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