Duminy dropped for second Test

Faf du Plessis says that the match will be a big character test given some of the off and on-field challenges the squad has faced this week.

South African cricketer Jean-Paul Duminy. Picture:AFP

CAPE TOWN - Proteas Captain Faf du Plessis confirmed that he and Duanne Olivier will replace the out of form JP Duminy and the suspended Kagiso Rabada respectively in Friday’s second Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Du Plessis says that the match will be a big character test given some of the off and on-field challenges the squad has faced this week.

The Proteas suffered a heavy 211-run defeat in the first Test at Lord's and head coach Russell Domingo has had to return home after the passing of his mother during the Lord's Test match.

Du Plessis’ returns after missing the first Test because of the birth of his first child but a decision on whether to play batsman Theunis de Bruyn or allrounder Chris Morris has not been made.

Du Plessis says fast bowler Olivier deserves his chance to play in place of Rabada.

"He will come in for Kagiso, he's our next bowler in line. He's done really well at domestic level and the last time there was an opportunity from a bowling point of view, he came in against Sri Lanka and bowled really well, so it's just the consistency in that. And it's also a decision to go with the seven batsmen or the extra allrounder."

The skipper explained the reasons for dropping Duminy.

"We know what he brings to the team away from his runs but as I said, and he would be the guy to acknowledge that, runs guarantee that he would play in the team and your performances and his performances haven't been consistent enough, therefore we're giving someone else an opportunity."

Du Plessis says that Duminy has handled the decision well but that was expected.

"He's a great team man and that's why you want him to do well. We possibly could have given a longer run because you know what he brings to the team. And he's the first to acknowledge that his performances haven't been stacking up, certainly not from the point that we need from a number four batsman."

The captain says he that has and will continue to demand a lot from the senior players.

"I think your leaders in the team take a little more collective sharing of the load and we are asking players to step up a little more this week because every vital bit of leadership needs to come out at a time when we need our leaders to be counted for."

Du Plessis says that in Domingo’s absence he felt a need to be more involved in the build up.

"I just took it upon myself to step up a little bit more in terms of leadership because you do lose a valuable leader in your team, so I thought it was my responsibility to do that but I've been working with Adrian as the assistant and now the head coach."