Don't miss Perth decider
Kepler Wessels believes that South Africa’s strong fightback in the second test against Australia will propel the Proteas to victory in the third, starting in Perth on Friday.
In turn, he says Australia will be “devastated” by events in Adelaide. “They threw everything at South Africa and still didn’t get the result.”
The former captain, now an analyst for SuperSport, said that South Africa could only get better.
“I’m not being critical, but the Proteas still haven’t played their best yet. I expect the bowling to take a step up and conditions in Perth should suit South Africa. Unless Australia are clever in bringing fresh bowlers in, they will struggle to bowl them out twice. The key is to start well, which I expect SA will do.”
Wessels enthused about the quality of the match in Adelaide, saying that it embraced all that is good about test cricket.
“I’ve always said it’s the true test of a player’s mettle. There’s nowhere to hide. South Africa scrapped and scrapped....the last day was a miraculous effort. Hanging on like that is as good as it gets, especially as not many gave them a chance.
“Going into day five, with four wickets down, I had faith, particularly as the Aussie attack is a modest one and the pitch didn’t deteriorate as people thought.”
Wessels said that Faf du Plessis deserved every bit of credit in the wake of his defiant century under supreme pressure.
“Having been in similar situations, the pressure is enormous. Sometimes, from a batting point of view, you get into a bubble of concentration where you aren’t aware of anything but the next delivery. All else is shut out. It’s very difficult to get into that zone, but he was in and never wavered.”
Wessels believes South Africa will be in a better frame of mind going into the Perth fixture.
“It’s set up perfectly for them. This is a good side; they deserve a result. And I expect they’ll get it.”
BROADCAST DETAILS (all times are CAT, SA, GMT+2)
SS2 and SSHD2 coverage will begin at 4am on each day of the test, with play starting at 4:30am SA time.