‘Feels very similar to Australia tour’ – du Plessis

Professional sportsmen claim the media serves mostly as a distraction, so they try to avoid it, especially mid-series. But for South Africa, the English press has been a barometer to measure how far under the opposition’s skin they are getting. If the reaction from Trent Bridge is anything to go by, they’ve burrowed deep into England’s epidermis.

The immediate analysis focused on England’s batting issues, with several former players slamming their attacking approach. In the days since, everything from Joe Root’s captaincy, which is only two Tests old, to the mindgames England have had to play with Moeen Ali, which essentially involve convincing him he is not the best spinner in the squad even though it is obvious that he is, have come under the microscope. For Faf du Plessis, that only helps put the hosts under pressure, in much the same way as the Australian media did during South…

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