South Africa transformed by Du Plessis’s bold and hard-nosed captaincy | Ali Martin

A shambles at Lord’s the previous week, the tourists reduced England to rubble without arguably their best bowler thanks to captain’s inspired leadership

Faf du Plessis has been the captain with the Midas touch since his return to the South African camp on the final morning of the chastening defeat at Lord’s last week, with their resurgent series-levelling performance in Nottingham covered in his gilded fingerprints.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the leader who oversaw a 2-1 away series in Australia last year, and shrugged off an almighty ball-tampering row with a combative century in Adelaide, should have an impact on this series but the difference has been palpable, not least given that their head coach, Russell Domingo, is back home following a bereavement.

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