News- Before the interval, his absence had been keenly felt as Joe Root tucked into the change bowlers. Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel had already let a good start slip, with England reaching 39 for two after 10 overs when South Africa made a double change.
Chris Morris’ first two balls were short and wide, and Root whacked them both for four to kickstart a period when England would add 46 runs in seven overs from Morris, Duanne Olivier and Keshav Maharaj. Philander and Morkel would be rested enough to deliver a second spell after lunch, but South Africa needed to find a way to feel like more than a two-bowler attack – a problem that they did not have with Rabada in the team at Lord’s.
“That’s one of the better balls I have seen,” said Morris. “Kesh does an unbelievably good job for us. We know what we are going to get from him, and on a turning wicket he is an absolute genius with the changing of his flight and trajectory.”
The turning of the tide was complete when Morris put a disastrous first spell of none for 20 in three overs behind him, and wrapped up the England innings. Once again du Plessis’ fingerprints were all over the transformation. “I think you fall into the trap sometimes as a bowler with the swing, and try put a ball there instead of bowling it,” Morris reflected. “The message was clear from Faf: be aggressive and bowl fast. For me that cleared any doubt on what I needed to do. Faf keeps it very simple. He speaks a good language, especially with his bowlers. I think it shows.”