• Captain Faf du Plessis was brutally honest about how he believed Philander’s injuries, illness and a lack of fitness had cost South Africa.
  • Du Plessis perhaps did not mean to place the burden of the series loss on Philander — who is a master of seam — but honesty can be read as blame.
  • The trend of honesty sees Heino Kuhn, included in the squad after he scored an avalanche of runs domestically, possibly not returning to Test cricket as South Africa continue their search for an opening partner for Elgar.
  • He impressed Smith during the series: “As a batting unit, there is a heavy reliance on the likes of Amla, Du Plessis and Elgar to fire.
  • Du Plessis arrived a Test late, engineered a win in Nottingham and looked to find some touch late on in the first series he has lost as captain.

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