Australia vs South Africa: 5 ways the Proteas messed up Day 1 at Perth
All the talk before the first Test of the Australian summer revolved around the batting paradise that Perth was. The curator had rung out a silent warning that there would be a more sportive wicket on display with a bit more grass than usual.
Faf Du Plessis, standing in for the injured skipper, AB de Villiers, who has a huge series ahead of him, will not be entirely pleased with Day 1. A David Warner thunder stole the lightning that was South Africa's revival after being reduced to 32/4 courtesy some extraordinary lengths from the Aussie seamers.
But was Warner, Starc, and Hazlewood the reason South Africa are already on the backfoot on Day 1 in Perth. Here is a take on five things the Proteas messed up on the opening day.
#1 Choosing to bat
The decision was always going to be 50-50 with the grass on the pitch and the early movement and bounce at the WACA. When Faf opted to bat first, Steven Smith echoed that he would have wanted to bat first as well.
What Faf, however, did not consider was that in a big series opener, you never want to start on the backfoot. Against the likes of Starc and Hazlewood, on a green top, early in the morning, negotiating the first few overs would be tricky. And if they did not, they paid a hefty price, as they did today.
He could have unleashed his seamers against Warner and co. first up to get a real glimpse of the pitch before batting. It seemed like the wiser choice and the better one, especially considering that they did not have De Villiers in their ranks.