ICC World Twenty20

Faf hopes to pile pressure on England

2016-03-17 14:19
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Mumbai - With one day to go before South Africa's opening match in the World Twenty20, captain Faf du Plessis is ready to capitalize on the effects of England's defeat by West Indies.

Du Plessis, the South Africa captain, said he would feel under pressure after Chris Gayle smashed a 47-ball unbeaten 100 as West Indies thumped England by six wickets in the Group 1 game on Wednesday.

"If we were in their shoes and we had lost that first game we would feel pressure going into the second game knowing if we lose we'd possibly be out," Du Plessis said ahead of his team's final practice session at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

"They'll (England) obviously be under pressure ... as a team you definitely feel the heat in that moment."

Gayle made a mockery of England's total of 182-6 as the batsman blasted 11 sixes and helped West Indies reach its target with 11 balls to spare for the loss of four wickets.

"Chris has been a master T20 batsman for a while ... he just sits and targets a specific bowler. You never really see Chris go from ball one," Du Plessis said.

South Africa had a perfect build-up to the tournament when it beat England 2-0 in the T20 series at home last month and it also enjoys a 4-1 lead in head to heads against their rivals in World T20 tournaments.

"If we put England under pressure we're hoping they'll almost fall back on that mentality of losing games and not being confident," he said.

With Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, South Africa has a strong batting line-up with Du Plessis supplementing the middle order. And Du Plessis knows well victory on Friday could put England in severe danger of making an early exit from the tournament with defending champion Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in their group.

"It's such a short tournament you have to hit the ground running," Du Plessis said.

"We've got a few guys that are looking good. Our batting line-up looks like it is in form and that's a dangerous sign for the opposition, it's just about putting it together on the day."

Although De Villiers averages just 22.87 in the shortest format, his promotion up the batting order could make things difficult for the opponents in the first six overs of batting power play.

"He (AB de Villiers) plays best when he assesses conditions and sees what the bowlers are about. When he gets that sniff he becomes really hard to bowl at," Du Plessis said.

The toss could be vital for both teams as England's seamers struggled to grip the wet ball under the lights against Gayle after West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to field.

"We look at all games as a must win game," Morgan said after being beaten by West Indies.

"There was lot more dew tonight and the ball got lot more wet, it could be a big part in the South African game."

South Africa, still searching for its first major title in world cricket, was third in 2009.


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