Leading into the match, Faf du Plessis suggested that given his rotten record at the toss — he had lost 13 of his previous 19, and South Africa had lost nine tosses in a row in Asia — he might send someone else instead.
It turned out he was not joking. On Saturday morning, Temba Bavuma walked out alongside du Plessis for the toss, and it was the vice-captain who called. It did not help, though, as South Africa lost yet again.
Not everyone was impressed with the move. “I thought it was pathetic, to be brutally honest,” former South Africa captain Graeme Smith fumed on air. “It just shows the mindset of the team. I didn’t enjoy seeing that. They’re looking in the wrong places. If you play well enough you can still compete.”
In what appears to have become a trend this series, there were two instances of fans entering the field of play on the opening day of the third Test.
One man ran towards Quinton de Kock, embraced the player and then touched his feet. He was mobbed and struck by security personnel, before being led away.
His footwear, though, had come loose and lay on the turf next to de Kock. The South African picked the slipper up, wondering what to do with it before handing it over to ground-staff.
The crowd cheered, but the JSCA did not presumably see the funny side.