Proteas looking to build confidence

2016-09-29 21:56
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, insists the five-match Momentum One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia starting on Friday is an ‘important’ series for his squad ahead of the busy international season.

The series is a precursor to an anticipated three-match Test series in Australia next month, and will be the ideal opportunity to gain winning momentum and confidence.  

“For me this is an extremely important series,” he said in Centurion on Thursday.

“I will never say that this is a stepping stone for the Test series or that the Tests are more important, this is a key home series for us. They are resting a few key bowlers which plays a big role in their one-day team and gives opportunities to younger guys but we know their main bowlers will be fresh come the Test series.  

“This group of players will have to play well and make sure that we find some good form because that will play a role going to Australia,” he added. “Form is important, it doesn’t matter the format you play, if you are in good form you can play any format of cricket. It’s important for the players who are in the Test matches to come away from this series with some confidence going to Australia.”  

Dale Steyn makes a welcome return to ODI cricket, and is fit and raring to make an impact in the series after last playing an ODI against India in Mumbai in October last year.  

“The fear that he puts into the opposition, his name itself, there are a few guys around the world that have that effect,” he said of Steyn. “He has done well over a period of time and he puts some doubt into your head as the opposition. His skill and experience is something that you can’t get overnight. When Dale is 100%, fresh and wants to bowl quick, he is a big asset to whatever team he plays in.”

The last time the Proteas played Australia, the attack relied on the spinners, who proved to be a handful in the slow conditions in the Caribbean. Although all three spinners, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso and Tabraiz Shamsi, feature in the squad, Du Plessis says the seam friendly conditions at SuperSport Park will change the role of the spinner.

“Pretoria and the Wanderers are generally wickets  that don’t often offer too much spin,” he said. “There is always a role for a spinner to contain the game. I see a spinner playing not as much an attacking role but a holding job and by doing that you can pick up some wickets.”

The match starts at 13h30 local time.  

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cricket

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