Durban defeat fired us up: Faf du Plessis

Ruben Holloway
April 6, 2018

After losing the opening Test in Durban, South Africa needed one of their big-match performers to step up in the second Test in Port Elizabeth. Philander had careerbest figures of six for 21, taking all six of his wickets for three runs in 5.2 overs. "It obviously had more of an effect on guys than we probably knew ourselves", he added.

Nevertheless, Paine said the Australians accepted an invitation from the South Africans to have a beer in the home team's dressing room next door, a chance for opponents to ease the tension of an ill-tempered monthlong series that was marred by numerous unsavory moments, not just the cheating scandal.

The side have been rocked by a ball-tampering scandal in which former captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were sent home after the third Test and handed hefty bans. We are going to have a new coach and a new brand and culture. "That will continue to happen", he said. Then be it the dominant phase where they did not lose a single Test series except for Australia in the span of six years (2007-2013) or be it the series victory against the Indian team led by Virat Kohli who came unbeaten to South Africa, they have been a side to look out for.

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Paine and the Aussies will rebuild under a new coach and a new leadership group, but anyone who thinks the problems and technical deficiencies of the current unit will be solved overnight doesn't understand the complexity of the issues at hand. "This means a lot to us", he said. "From my point of view we've got to find a fine line between being really respectful of the opposition and also being at a level that is really competitive". "He's looking pretty good after this series", du Plessis said. "This series has been incredible the way we have put it all together". Much to everyone's surprise, the series got off to a flyer with Australia winning the first Test quite comfortably, thus reminding everyone their formidable record against the hosts.

Du Plessis would also not be drawn on the future of other senior players, such as Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and even himself.

"Those are the sort of things I'm going to miss a lot".

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"It's pretty simple. We have to listen. Our bowling unit was exceptional". "We nearly went from motivated to motivated/angry to try and turn it around".

"The guys were really pumped after that first game and for the first time I could feel all 11 guys were really looking forward to the next Test to try and make a play in the series".

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