Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes that Australia had been tampering with the ball prior to getting caught in the third Test in Cape Town.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all involved in the incident. As a result, Smith and Warner, who was deemed responsible for instructing Bancroft to use sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test in Cape Town, were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia. Bancroft, meanwhile, was suspended for nine months.
In addition to this, Smith will not be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.
Given that Australia have managed to get the ball to reverse swing earlier than usual, Du Plessis feels that the Baggy Greens may have changed the condition of the ball earlier in the series.
“I thought so, yes,” Du Plessis was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “The series the ball has been reversing quite a bit.
“I joked about it this last Test match, (saying) I’ve never seen so many guys put up their hand to open the batting.
“Normally, it’s green wickets and spicy (conditions) in the beginning (which concern batsmen) but now the biggest challenge in this series is coming in when the ball is tailing around.
“Whether that’s at 30 overs or 50 overs. It was just the nature of when the ball was reversing (that made him suspicious), that’s all.
“Without having any evidence of it, we thought there’s no way that the ball can go so early. It’s just unheard of for a South African series where the ball is (reverse-swinging) this much.
“We try and do the same, we try and get that ball to talk as much as possible. But we certainly don’t walk around with sandpaper in our pockets.”
Du Plessis added that his side will do everything within the laws of the game to get the ball to reverse swing as fast as possible during the fourth Test in Johannesburg, which starts on Friday.
“To an extent it is a skill to try and get that ball to talk as quickly as possible because a ball going straight versus a ball going late and the other way is obviously a lot harder (to face),” he said. “From the next five days’ play point of view, we’re not going to stop trying to do that.
“We’re going to keep trying to get the ball to reverse with what is allowed.”