Australia in SA

Proteas can 'turn' it around

2011-10-22 15:04
Faf du Plessis (Gallo)

Port Elizabeth - Faf du Plessis says South Africa is hoping to derive inspiration from past experiences as it aims to turn the tables on Australia despite trailing 1-0 in their three-game, one-day international series.

The 27-year-old middle order batsman said on Saturday, on the eve of the second one-dayer at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, that South Africa had been in a similar position before and he was sure they could turn the series around.

“We’re a side that does well under pressure,” said Du Plessis.

“We’ve been in a couple of situations before when we’ve been down in a series and then the guys stand up and play proper cricket.”

South Africa have won the last two ODI series at home against Australia but they are now fighting to keep the series alive against the top-ranked side in the world.

“Any game against Australia is a massive game but this one is huge because we’ve got to get back into the series,” Du Plessis said.

“For us, we just have to go out there and give 100 percent.

“Australia’s one of those sides that if you don’t pitch up on the day with 100 percent, they’ll beat you and we know that.”

Meanwhile, Australian captain Michael Clarke expressed his determination to go out and win, with the emphasis on winning each game, rather than worrying about the series as a whole.

“Its [winning] been our goal since arriving in South Africa,” said Clarke.

“We took a lot of confidence from winning the one-day and Test series in Sri Lanka and we wanted to come here and make sure we played some really good cricket against a very tough opposition.

“Tomorrow [Sunday] is no different. Yes, there’s a chance to win the series, which would be fantastic, but we’re here to win all three one-day games.

“We’re very focused on the job at hand. We’ll worry about what that means afterwards.”

Australia are still assessing the fitness of Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh and Clarke said they would wait until the last minute to announce their team.

The Australians were looking forward to the party atmosphere at St George’s and Clarke said he hoped the crowd would enjoy a great game of cricket.

Prior to hosting Australia, the Proteas had returned from a five-month lay-off and their rustiness had been apparent, particularly in the top-order batting.

“Our batters have been under firing,” said Du Plessis on the past few performances by the Proteas.

“We’re not using it as an excuse but we obviously haven’t played much cricket so that will get better and better the more the guys get time in the middle.

“In the nets, the guys are batting beautifully and the longer the series goes on, the better our batting will become.”

He said the team have been training hard and doing everything possible to ensure they come right on the day.

Du Plessis admitted he was more comfortable now that he had faced the Australian bowling attack and knew what they brought to the party.

There was no need for a change in strategy, according to Proteas’ assistant coach, Russell Domingo, who said it was more a case of executing their plans properly.

“I don’t think any new strategy or approach is needed,” said Domingo.

“This side has been the most successful sides in international cricket, statistically for the last 31 ODI’s.

“For sure we need to up our levels 10-20 percent but the personnel are there and the game plans are still there.

“It’s just a matter of executing better than we have in our last few games.”

Domingo said he a decision would be made later in the day as to whether South Africa would play one or two spinners.

“It’s difficult for us because we have three front-line seamers and Jacques Kallis is the fourth,” Domingo said.

“We know St George’s generally offers something for the spinners but if you hit the wicket hard enough, there’s enough in it for the seamers.

“So whether we play two spinners or one won’t make a massive amount of difference.”

Read more on:    australia  |  faf du plessis  |  port elizabeth
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