Faf du Plessis says Chris Morris is not consistent enough to be a third seamer in the Proteas Test team, but fits into a four-seamer attack.
The hype around the first Test was about Dale Steyn. The major talking point around the second is who should replace him after his injury.
Morris, Lungi Ngidi and Duanne Olivier are the three seamers whom Ottis Gibson has at his disposal, but who will replace Steyn is still uncertain.
Du Plessis gave the media some insight into what he thinks about Morris as a bowler, in the press conference on Friday.
‘Right now I look at Morris as a fourth seamer replacement,’ he said. ‘If you pick four seamers, he can be among them. Consistently-wise, he still has a lot to do to be the third seamer.
‘If you want to be a third seamer you have to be consistently on the money. Vernon [Philander], Morne [Morkel], KG [Kagiso Rabada] and Dale, those guys are a step above.
‘But definitely as a fourth seamer, he [Morris] is always someone who’s talked about because he has pace and X factor. He can also bat and is a good all-round player.’
Du Plessis said losing Steyn had been difficult for the Proteas.
‘The team we selected last week was the right team,’ said Du Plessis. ‘Losing Dale, who was the world’s best bowler [at one stage], makes us think about whether we want to keep the same balance of the four seamers and a spinner. Or do we look at an extra all-rounder? It’s a tough selection, but a nice one to have.’
Du Plessis was excited by Ngidi’s talent.
‘Right now is very important, but I also have my eye on the future with a lot of Test cricket coming up,’ said Du Plessis. ‘We play two more matches against India and then four against Australia.
‘The success of our team is based on the dependability of the seam bowlers in our armoury. That’s why Lungi Ngidi has been brought into the squad. I want to get a closer look at what he can do.
‘Before yesterday, I hadn’t seen him bowl, so it’s great to get to know him and to see what he’s got because I believe there is a lot of talent there. That is important for the next four or five months and our fitness among our bowlers is going to be very important.
‘I’m very impressed with his bowling. He bowls a heavy ball and I’m excited to have him in the group. There is a bright future for him, and I want to start the journey off with him.’
When asked about Olivier, Du Plessis said: ‘There are about six or seven bowlers and Duanne is one of them. We will decide which one we are going to go with for this game.’
The first Test starts at 10:00 on Saturday at Centurion.
Watch Du Plessis’ full press conference:
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix