Bumbling Faf nearly missed Test debut
Steve Larkin
20:31 AEST Sat Nov 24 2012

Bumbling South African Faf du Plessis almost didn't make his first Test innings.

The debutant feared being timed out by umpires after a comical exit from the Adelaide Oval dressing room on Saturday during the second Test against Australia.

"I had an absolute shocker going down the stairs," du Plessis said.

His nerves were already frayed while waiting for minutes as a decision review confirmed he was in to bat.

Du Plessis started down the stairs from the changerooms, through the crowd.

"My boot clipped one of the stairs and my whole foot came out (of the boot)," he said.

"I had to kneel in front of the whole crowd there while they were abusing me from both sides.

"And my shoelaces were tied and my pad was in the way, so I couldn't get my foot back in."

Amid the abuse, du Plessis had a horror thought.

"I was thinking `I'm going to get timed out here, I need to do something'."

So he slipped his foot partly into the boot.

"I said `I'm just going to have to run on with my boot like this. I will sort it out when I get there'," du Plessis said.

"Then my first step ... I almost tripped."

That set off the crowd again, he said, likening them to an "abuse factory".

After finally arriving at the pitch, du Plessis felt he had nothing to lose.

"When I got in, I said it can't go worse," he said.

He finished with an impressive 78, featuring 13 fours and a six. And when dismissed, the Adelaide crowd gave him a "much, much better" reception.

"But in all honesty, I would have abused myself when I was tripping down the stairs."

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