Faf du Plessis: We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball too much to get it to reverse in the Durban Test

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Faf du Plessis further expressed that the South African players and management watched the second Test, through binoculars during Australia's bowling

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has talked about the notorious ‘Sandpaper gate’ that shook Australian cricket, saying that the Proteas suspected Australia of ball-tampering long before the incident happened.

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has talked about the notorious ‘Sandpaper gate’ that shook Australian cricket, saying that the Proteas suspected Australia of ball-tampering long before the incident happened. 

Du Plessis conceded the revelations through his autobiography titled ‘Faf: Through Fire’, which is scheduled to be released to the public on October 28. 

As it turns out, during the fourth Test at Newlands, Cape Town, Australia player Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras attempting to mess up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing in flight.

However, Du Plessis, in his biography, claimed that the Proteas suspected Australia of ball-tampering from the first Test of the series, which was played.

“During the first Test in Durban, the Australian pace attack had got the ball to reverse insanely. Mitchell Starc claimed nine wickets and, although I regard him as one of the best proponents of reverse-swing bowling I have ever seen or faced, those deliveries in Durban were borderline unplayable. He would come in around the wicket with a badly deteriorated ball and get it to the hoop past us. Our balls had also reversed but not nearly as much as theirs,”

Fox Sports quoted Faf as writing.

The 38-year-old further uncovered that the South African players and management watched the second Test, through binoculars during Australia’s bowling.

“We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball too much to get it to reverse so wildly, and we watched the second Test at St George’s through binoculars, so that we could follow the ball more closely while Australia was fielding. When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often – our changing room must have looked like a birdwatching hide as we peered intently through our binoculars. There was a visible difference between how Mitchell Starc got the ball to reverse in the first Test in Durban and the final Test in Johannesburg. We now know that there was an obvious reason for that,”

he added.

Starc was named player of the first Test, having returned figures of 5/34 and 4/75. Australia had won the first Test by 118 but lost the four-match series 1-3.

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