'Australia wanted to bully us'- Faf du Plessis sheds light on infamous ball-tampering saga of 2018 Test series

Cameron Bancroft was filmed stuffing a sandpaper piece in his trousers which led to the revelation.

Faf du Plessis
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Faf du Plessis of the Proteas. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Chaitanya Prakash
CHAITANYA PRAKASH

Jr. Staff Writer

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Australia's infamous Test series against South Africa shocked the world after Australian players were caught in the ball-tampering scandal, giving birth to the name ‘The Sandpaper Gate’. Former South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who was part of the South African camp during Australia's tour, has made a scathing remark about David Warner, who was one of the main instigators behind the scandal. 

It has been four years since the scandalous Test series between Australia and South Africa. Warner, the vice-captain of the side, along with skipper Steve Smith, were handed lengthy bans after their involvement came to light. While the Australian media have portrayed David Warner in a new light in recent times, Faf du Plessis is still fuming over his role in the ball-tampering saga.

“Australia wanted to bully us. We had to stand up for ourselves. They abused us that whole game but the way we fought back turned the series around. He(Warner) was a bully. I don’t have time for bullies," Du Plessis said in an interview with the BBC.

We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball: Faf du Plessis

The Protean shed light on the shocking incidents of that series in his autobiography - Faf: Through Fire. He stated that the South African team were suspicious of the amount of reverse swing the Australian pacers were able to generate in contrast to the Protean pacers. He revealed that the players were keeping a close eye on Warner, whenever the ball went to him on the field.

“Mitchell Starc claimed nine wickets, and although I regard him as one of the best proponents of reverse-swing bowling I have ever seen or faced, those deliveries in Durban were borderline unplayable. He would come in around the wicket with a badly deteriorated ball and get it to hoop past us.

“Our balls had also reversed but not nearly as much as theirs. We suspected that someone had been nurturing the ball too much to get it to reverse so wildly, and we watched the second Test at St George’s through binoculars, so that we could follow the ball more closely while Australia was fielding.

“When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often – our changing room must have looked like a birdwatching hide as we peered intently through our binoculars. There was a visible difference between how Mitchell Starc got the ball to reverse in the first Test in Durban and the final Test in Johannesburg," he wrote.