Du Plessis rues Peterson injury
Following another injury setback within the Proteas squad on Tuesday, number-four batsman Faf du Plessis hoped it would be South Africa's last problem as they prepared to take on the West Indies in the Boxing Day Test starting on Friday.
Robin Peterson – earmarked for the spinner's role in the Test – sustained a cut to his left index finger and had three stitches, casting him in serious doubt for the match.
It also compounded the injury woes of the hosts as Quinton de Kock was ruled out of the entire series after injuring his ankle before the start of day three of the first Test last week.
"It's part of sport, you go through cycles when it comes to injuries. We've been quite unfortunate in the last while with a lot of injuries," Du Plessis said, when asked how South Africa were dealing with the current spate of injuries.
"It's unfortunate, but hopefully that's the last of it."
Du Plessis confirmed Peterson had split the webbing of the finger, and said he had been the team's number one choice in the spin department.
"It's split webbing, I know because I've had the same thing before. It takes a while for the skin to come back together and it becomes so sensitive, especially with a cricket ball.
"Here the conditions were more suited for spin, so we really feel for him."
A frontline spinner would be a non-negotiable for the Proteas on the PE deck, and Du Plessis said the team had been in contact with other players to bring in to the squad as a replacement for Peterson.
The Proteas come off an innings and 220 run win over the tourists last week in Centurion, and the slower conditions on the coastal pitch would give the West Indies a better chance of competing with the top-ranked Proteas said Du Plessis.
"Conditions like this will probably bring them more into the game.
SuperSport Park was seamer friendly pitch, and the PE wicket is a little more slow.
"Their bowling unit will be more happy and the same for the batting. The conditions being slower and lower will suit their style a bit better."
The West Indies also have their own injury concerns with bowler Kemar Roach withdrawing from the series with an ankle injury, after bowling 15.5 overs in South Africa's innings.
"He was their best bowler in the first Test without a shadow of doubt, so he'll be a huge loss for them."
South Africa last played in Port Elizabeth in February where they beat Australia. Dale Steyn got the ball to reverse in the fourth innings taking 4/55 as the Proteas ousted the Aussies by 231 runs.
"I've enjoyed good success at this ground, so I'm going to reflect on past performances.
"From a team point of view we know what worked against Australia.
"There was a bit of reverse swing around, and Dale is very dangerous when the ball is reversing."
Ollie Pope hits 245 as Surrey take upper-hand over Leicestershire on day three
England batsmen Ollie Pope and Joe Root hit red-ball centuries for their county.
Mohammad Abbas hat-trick puts Hampshire in command against Middlesex
Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson produced a ball of the century contender against Northamptonshire.
Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj earn first BCCI contracts
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, have suffered contract demotions.
Dom Sibley injury adds to England’s worries with Ben Stokes facing 12 weeks out
Stokes was injured playing in the IPL while Sibley was in County Championship action with Warwickshire.
Can England cope without talisman Ben Stokes against New Zealand this summer?
All-rounder Stokes faces up to 12 weeks out with a fractured finger.
Ben Stokes ruled out for up to three months with broken finger
The England all-rounder will have surgery on the injury picked up playing in the Indian Premier League.
Scott Borthwick hits century as Durham get better of Essex at Chelmsford
Essex fell apart on the opening day of their County Championship clash with Durham.
Babar Azam wants to top rankings in Test cricket as well
Currently sixth on the Test batting rankings, Babar Azam hopes to change that as soon as possible.
Cricket Australia announces contracted women’s players for 2021-22
Australia Women will host India and England this summer before heading to New Zealand for the ICC World Cup in March, 2022.
On this day in 2009: Andy Flower appointed England team director
The former Zimbabwe captain had been in charge on an interim basis since the previous January following Peter Moores’ sacking.