England 184-6 against South Africa in 2nd Test

England 184-6 against South Africa in 2nd Test

England 184-6 against South Africa in 2nd Test

However awful South Africa were at Lord's, they have their captain back now and they certainly won't want to repeat such a chastening experience.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, meanwhile, has urged the Proteas to pass a "huge test of character" in the upcoming fixture. The good Saturday crowd in Nottingham was stunned into silence as England quickly slipped to 3 for 2 with Philander and Morkel wreaking early damage. The only thing on his mind would have been to get on with it, so that's what he did. The first was a drive off a full ball. On that occasion the ball was edged, nearly to command. Amla, pulled fast bowler Mark Wood for a four that saw him to 8,000 Test runs. The next over, de Kock did that again. The ground, for reasons some physicist could possibly explain always offers swing and the batsmen have to play with more caution than any other ground in England. South Africa were placed at 235 for six at that stage. Yes, South Africa look weak - arguably as weak as at any stage since readmission - and have greater questions to answer, but I'm not about to steam in to England at prices approaching 1/2 here when they went off evens last week.

By tea, the de Kock experiment could be declared a success.

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Du Plessis had made only 19 when he was superbly caught behind one-handed by Jonny Bairstow from the merest touch off his glove, giving Stokes a first wicket. If that is the case then memories of their 211-run defeat at Lord's last weekend can be forgotten and this series will be level at 1-1 with two matches to play.

Another area of concern is the order of the batting lineup, which was shoddy at best in the first test. Du Plessis will need to utilize his batters' strengths and preferred positions depending on the outcome of the toss. That someone is de Kock. "It's just a case of dusting ourselves down and doing it". "When they get the opportunity they'll still be pretty fresh coming into the second innings later on in this game".

From a batting perspective, it was a variety of wickets that fell. Although he is young and fit, a workload that high over a period of time may not be sustainable.

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It should also leave him free to try and just take wickets with his bowling - surely his strong point, rather than holding up an end.

From a seemingly hard position to score big runs low down in the order, de Kock has accumulated 825 in 18 innings there, averaging 58.92 and scoring all three of his hundreds. "The guys are playing in a bad standard of first-class cricket in South Africa because of the politics and interference in selection", the 73-year-old left-hander added.

Root has a terrific record at Trent Bridge.

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