Preserving a strong away record will be a motivating factor for the Standard Bank Proteas in the fourth Test match against England starting at Old Trafford on Friday. The Proteas have only lost one away series – against in India in 2015 – since 2006, a phenomenal record they will be looking to extend. Defeat will also end a brilliant run of four consecutive series wins this season, a clean sheet highlighted by wins against New Zealand (home and away), Australia and Sri Lanka. Although a win was the first prize, Faf du Plessis admits a drawn series will be equally valued given England’s strength in their home conditions. Old Trafford is a former home ground for Du Plessis, a venue where he spent two years playing for Lancashire County Cricket Club as a Kolpak player. He says his stint at the county gave him the foundation and experience that has moulded him into the international cricketer he is today. Vernon Philander is struggling with a stiff lower back, and will undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability for the match. The decision on his participation will be made on Friday morning.

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