CENTURION, South Africa, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 26th August, 2016) : After the embarrassment of an abandoned first Test, South African captain Faf du Plessis proclaimed on Friday that conditions for the second and final Test against New Zealand at SuperSport Park, starting Saturday, were excellent. He was less happy that the series will be decided in what effectively is a one-off match. Less than 100 overs of play was possible in the first Test in Durban before a wet, soft, recently re-seeded outfield made further play impossible after rain on the second day.
But Centurion is completely different. A lush, green outfield, planted with winter grass in April, had hometown player Du Plessis excited. "It's in fantastic nick, the outfield is looking amazing. It's the best I've ever seen it," he said. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was less effusive but said: "It looks a good outfield, there don't seem to be too many clouds about and there should be no problems." With no rain expected, the match looks set to go the distance.
The unknown is the pitch. "It looks a touch on the soft side and a bit moist," said Du Plessis. "We're not too sure what to expect, I think it might be slow." With South Africa a lowly seventh in the Test rankings, Du Plessis said the team wanted to play more Test matches in longer series. "A two-match series is too short. With the current schedule, having five-match series is going to be hard in the future.