Tim Paine hits 62 despite suffering hairline fracture in right thumb

South Africa's frustrating morning was compounded when seamer Morne Morkel, playing in his final test before retirement from global cricket, was forced from the field with a left side strain that leaves his further participation in the test in doubt.

A side strain suffered by Morne Morkel before lunch probably contributed to South Africa's decision to bat again.

The fielder needed a full-length dive to seize the opportunity with two hands, then immediately ran off the field to signify South Africa would not be putting their opponents back in.

Australia need victory to avoid a first series defeat in South Africa since 1970, but have been rocked by the ball-tampering scandal in which Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were sent home and given hefty bans after the third Test in Cape Town.

Sunday was the first time that one of the team had faced the media without questions about the incident and Paine says the players want to prove wrong those critics who said they would roll over in the fourth test.

Struggling with a hairline fracture in his right thumb, captain Paine led the way with 62 before the tourists - who had resumed on 6-110 - were bowled out for 221 in Johannesburg. "It hurts a little bit but I've had my fair share of finger injuries and compared to a couple of others it's not too bad". "I noticed they do that every game and I thought, cricket's a gentleman's game". Thus, prior to the start of play and just after the completion of the national anthems of both sides, Tim Paine and the rest of his Australian side went ahead and walked past the Proteas in a bid to shake their hands, something that he was lauded for and depicting a hallmark of his sportsmanship.

Hashim Amla (16) was caught at backward short leg by Mitchell March from a Nathan Lyon delivery, while AB de Villiers (six) gloved a rising Cummins ball to wicketkeeper Tim Paine. "But in cricket there is a second innings and another day, so we dusted ourselves off and tried to do as best as we can", he said.

While his team mates had been ordered to tone down their on-field aggression, Paine was confident this new attitude will not mean they lose their intensity.

With the ghastly week that the Australians have had to endure, their efforts on Sunday were impressive. "There will be a lot of emphasis on the spin but I actually think it is turning and bouncing too much to find an edge", Maharaj said.

Latest News