Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Cricket - Renewed Focus Will Drive Proteas Forward

analysis

After being obliterated by Australia in the first Test at Centurion, South Africa will have to respond convincingly at Centurion. Much has been said about the pitch and the conditions, but Morne Morkel hopes the side can shift focus away from outside factors.

You'd have been forgiven for mistaking Port Elizabeth for Durban on both Monday and Tuesday, with humidity to match the usual sub-continental conditions. The pitch can be low and slow and offers a little bit of turn for the slow bowlers, but that does not mean the quicks haven't thrived here.

Allan Donald leads the wicket-taking list at the ground with 40 sticks in the seven matches he played here, while Shaun Pollock is second with 37 wickets in nine games. In fact, the top five of the wicket takers at the ground are quicks, and Dale Steyn has taken 16 wickets in his three Tests at the ground.

With South Africa 1-0 down against Australia in their three-match Test series, the second match, which begins on Thursday, is a must-win encounter. They can still draw the series if the Test is drawn and they manage to win in Cape Town, but with expectations ...

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