Stand-in South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis free to play third Test with Australia despite being found guilty of ball-tampering

 
Ross McLean
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Faf du Plessis has guided South Africa to a series victory against Australia (Source: Getty)

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has escaped a suspension despite being found guilty of ball-tampering during his side’s hammering of Australia in the second Test in Hobart last week.

The 32-year-old, who has confirmed his intention to appeal the verdict, was charged by the International Cricket Council with applying saliva to the ball, while eating a sweet, in a bid to alter its condition.

Former Lancashire player Du Plessis pleaded not guilty, but was fined 100 per cent of his match fee after his case was heard by match referee Andy Pycroft, although he remains free to play the third Test, which starts on Thursday.

Du Plessis, deputising as Proteas skipper in place of the injured AB de Villiers, has also had three penalty points added to his disciplinary record. He was fined 50 per cent of his match fee in 2013 for the same offence in a game against Pakistan.

India, meanwhile, have recalled fit-again seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar to their squad for the final three Tests against England, the first of which starts in Mohali on Saturday.

Kumar, who has been sidelined with a back strain, replaces veteran opener Gautam Gambhir in the hosts’ 16-man squad as they bid to build on their 1-0 series lead following victory in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.