Faf: No 1 ranking a driving factor for Proteas

2017-03-03 11:19
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas have the perfect opportunity to rectify their inconsistent performances, as the ODI series decider against New Zealand gets underway at Eden Park on Saturday.

Du Plessis admitted that the Proteas have not been themselves this series, saying that they haven't been performing at their best level in New Zealand thus far.

"We haven't been consistent enough with the style of cricket we want to play," Du Plessis told reporters in Auckland on Friday.

"I think we're been firing at about 65 percent this whole series. We haven't played close to a complete game at all."

The Proteas lost their No 1 status after their defeat in the fourth ODI in Hamilton, as they surrendered their top spot to Australia.

However, a win in Saturday's final ODI in Auckland, will see the Proteas regain their top spot and go to England as No 1.

"It's always a driving factor for us," said Du Plessis.

"It's great to be No 1, but it's just the same. When we go to the Champions Trophy being No 1 or 4, it's going to irrelevant, but as a team we do have it as a small goal to try and stay at the top.

"As far as the series has gone, we haven't played with that style and hopefully tomorrow we can rectify that."

The Proteas Test skipper wasn't concerned over the team facing their first 'real' test in the past few months after they dominated Australia and Sri Lanka in series whitewashes.

"It feels like every game we play is important, we certainly feel like there's no easy games. Definitely, from a pressure point of view this will be since then the most valuable we've played," said Du Plessis.

"Other series we've gone 5-nil so the relevance of getting into a big moment is huge.

"I don't think both teams have played their best cricket with glimpses in the batting. For New Zealand as well it's been scratchy.

"The series hasn't been dominated by the bat - bowlers played a huge part so I think both teams are feeling like they under-performing."

The fifth and final deciding ODI will take place in Auckland on Saturday, starting at 03:00 (SA time).

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cricket

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