December 1, 2012

South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Du Plessis stands for a generation

Trained to attack in the shorter formats, the batsmen of this age are considered inept for situations that require them to go through the grind in a Test. But Faf du Plessis' marathon innings in Adelaide has reiterated the opposite again, writes Chris McGrath in the Independent.

This is said to be a feckless age. Yet six of the 17 longest innings in Test history have been played since 2000. It is too glib, plainly, to charge batsmen of the T20 era with flimsy decadence. In fact, only four of those 17 innings pre-date 1987. True, many factors contribute to that imbalance: the sheer volume of fixtures, and an increasing environmental prejudice towards the bat. But while T20, in particular, absolves him of his responsibility to balance conflicting obligations - and so severs the exquisite tension, between attack and defence, that defines the game - the modern batsman evidently remains capable of deferring fatal indulgence to a nearly tantric degree.

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