Proteas

Faf: Test skipper role made me a better player

2017-02-08 10:03
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis says being Test captain has made him a better cricketer.

Du Plessis was speaking at Newlands on Tuesday night after he scored a ton to take his side to a 40-run victory in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka.

Du Plessis took over the Test captaincy late last year from the then-injured AB de Villiers and impressed by leading the Proteas to series victories over New Zealand (home) and Australia (away).

Since the start of the current ODI series against Sri Lanka, Du Plessis has made knocks of 55*, 105, 24 and now 185. In the last 10 matches combined, he has scored 640 runs at 71.11.

He credits his form and exceptional ton in Cape Town to his captaincy and says the role has made him a 'more calculated' cricketer.

"Being a captain makes me play better, the confidence and momentum definitely helps with that," said Du Plessis.

"It just makes you raise your own bar of performance, you want to be a better player, so I challenged myself to be a good player and now it's to become a great player. It's just about raising the bar in your own mental mind shift."

Du Plessis smashed 185 off 141 balls hitting 16 fours and three sixes before falling in the final over to Sri Lanka's Lahiru Madushanka.

"I hit the ball really well, I felt really good," Du Plessis said of his career-best knock.

"This wicket allowed me to open up a little, but my game plan has been really similar to other innings.

"I've batted with calculated risks - a lot of ones and twos - and then you get into a stage where you take it on and get a few boundaries."

Du Plessis fell just three runs short of a South African ODI record of 188, which has been occupied by Gary Kirsten for 21 years.

"I didn't know about the record, but I'm really happy I got to 180," said Du Plessis.

"The record would've been something nice and 200 wasn't even in my mind. I was just trying to get as many runs as possible."

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cricket
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