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Proteas have a mountain to climb

The Proteas don't have much time to regroup before the start of the second test match at Trent Bridge on Friday.

The good news is that at Trent Bridge, seamer-friendly conditions will prevail. The surface there offers pace, seam and bounce for the quicker bowlers. Traditionally, South African teams prefer these kinds of surfaces.

Faf du Plessis, on his return to the team, has a massive task on his hands to restore morale and confidence within the group.

Since the Proteas arrived in England the performances of the one-day, T20 and the test sides have been poor.

The less said about the Lord's test match, the better. The Proteas had opportunities but through poor discipline and execution they allowed a strong English combination the opportunity to capitalise on these errors and drive home the advantage.

Hopefully, selection for the second test match will be more sensible than for the one at Lord's, where a fourth quick bowler should have taken the place of a seventh batsman.

The selectors have to play four recognised quick bowlers at Trent Bridge.

They don't necessarily have to play a spinner at this venue if they are concerned about batting strength. A combination comprising of Elgar, Kuhn, Amla, Du Plessis, De Kock, Bavuma, De Bruin, Morris, Philander, Morkel and Olivier is probably the best the Proteas can do for this one.

Kagiso Rabada will be missed during the second test due to his rather dubious one-match suspension, but hopefully a four-pronged pace attack will alleviate some of the pressure.

A surface that brings fast bowlers into the mix may even boost the two sides. However, if the Proteas are to prevail in this match they will have to play to the best of their abilities for the duration of the test, and not just for two sessions like they did at Lord's.

Faf du Plessis and his boys have a mountain to climb.

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