Cape Town - Proteas captain, Faf
du Plessis, has asked for a strong and confident start from his players in
their opening ICC World Twenty20 match against England at the Wankhede Stadium
in Mumbai on Friday. The Proteas kick-start their campaign against an
under-fire England squad, who are fresh off a six-wicket loss to a Chris Gayle
inspired West Indies outfit on Wednesday, and will need a consistent start with
either bat or ball to sustain the pressure on their opponents.
“The only way you become
confident as a team is if you are winning, so we hope that will play a role
against England,” Du Plessis said in Mumbai on Thursday. “In saying that, in a World
Cup if you don’t rock up on the day any team can beat you. For us it helps a
lot knowing that we are going into the match tomorrow with the confidence of
having beaten them in South Africa but we do know that tomorrow it will be a
completely new game.
“We hope that if we do put
England under pressure early it will create some doubt about their ability to
cross the line but we need to make sure that we don’t give them a sniff. It’s
crucial to start well and to put them under pressure which will hopefully
create some mistakes.”
The Proteas have fond
memories of the Wankhede Stadium, the venue where they crushed India by
214-runs to win the One-Day International (ODI) series 3-2 in October last
year. Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all capitalised with
hundreds in the 400-plus run feast, and will be leaning on their recent success
and Indian Premier League (IPL) familiarity of the 32000-seater cauldron in
preparation for the match.
“AB (De Villiers) is in good
form at the moment, he is playing well,” Du Plessis said. “Past performances
play a massive role when it comes to a ground. A few of us did well in that
final match against India and we have used that to reflect and have gotten some
information on the wicket so we can try and replicate those performances.
“We have a few guys who are
looking good,” he added. “For me our whole batting line-up looks like they are
in form and that is a dangerous sign for any opposition. It’s about putting it
together on the day.
Du Plessis says his squad
boasts a number of ‘match-winners’ who can make a game-changing impact, and
expects a high-scoring encounter from the traditionally seam-friendly Mumbai
“It’s a great ground to start
off your campaign,” he said. “Wankhede is close to our conditions back home so
it’s an ideal venue to start at. There is always a lively crowd, not a lot of
our guys would have had the opportunity to play T20 cricket at a stadium like
this so we are excited and looking forward to the game.”
The match is scheduled to
start at 19h30 local time (16h00 SA Time).