Faf in the dark over Centurion wicket
Pretoria - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is not entirely sure what to make of the Centurion wicket ahead of the second Test against India, which gets underway on Saturday.
After Newlands groundsman Evan Flint was lauded for the seam-friendly wicket he produced for South Africa's 72-run victory in the first Test, Centurion curator Bryan Bloy seems to be under a little more pressure.
Home captains expect to be given the conditions they want, and Du Plessis is no different.
Yet, a look at the Centurion wicket on Friday revealed little to no green grass, which suggests that there will be minimal movement off the deck for the seamers.
That isn't an absolute travesty for Du Plessis, as long as he gets the pace and bounce he asked for.
Then, when taking into account that the wicket is a lot browner than initially expected, there is also the possibility of the pitch taking to spin as the Test progresses.
That, obviously, is not something that Du Plessis wants.
"The wicket looks a bit browner than I thought it would be," Du Plessis acknowledged on Friday.
"From what I got from the groundsman, the grass on the wicket has been burned from the heat last week when it was very hot.
"We’ve asked for pace and bounce, so hopefully we will get that over the next five days."
Du Plessis is expecting the batsmen to be more comfortable on this wicket, but he is completely in the dark when it comes to the possibility of spin late in the match.
"As you can see over there, there is not a lot of green grass. I expect a good cricket wicket and hopefully a bit of pace and bounce," he said.
"To be really honest, I don’t know (if it will spin).
"Generally Centurion doesn’t spin that much but there is a thick layer of brown grass on it so it’s not something that we’re used to seeing at Centurion.
"For us, at the moment, it’s unknown. We’ll see how it plays over the next five days. For us to get the conditions we would like, the ball must spin as little as possible."
Play on Saturday gets underway at 10:00.