Cape Town - Faf
du Plessis' tenure as Proteas captain across all three formats
comes to an anticipated start with the first Test match against Bangladesh starting at Senwes Park in
Potchefstroom on Thursday.
The captain says the series is an
opportunity for the Proteas to "start afresh", as he takes full reign
alongside coach, Ottis Gibson.
Proteas will feature in a bumper home season this summer, with incoming
tours against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, India
and Australia headlining a spree of 23 International matches across the
For now, the challenge is Potchefstroom, which is geared up to
play the perfect host for the Proteas in only the second Test match to
be played at the venue.
like this won't usually get a lot of Test cricket because there are a
lot of stadium venues," he said to the
media at Senwes Park on Wednesday.
"It is great for a small town like
Potch to get a Test, hopefully the students will come and support us.
It's nice to take the game around the country, we don't mind it."
Titans captain, Aiden Markram, is set to become the 97th Test player to represent South Africa since re-admission when he
partners with Dean Elgar at the top of the order.
The 22-year-old has
made remarkable strides at domestic level since leading South Africa U19
to World Cup glory in 2014, and currently averages
44.33 in 34 first-class matches with six hundreds and 11 fifties to his
"For me it's important that he doesn't listen to everything that has
been said about him," Du Plessis said of the youngster.
"It's important for him to focus on the fact that he is playing another
game, walking out to play like he would for the Titans. There is no
extra pressure on him, in fact I'll try to take that away from him so
that he can be comfortable and have the freedom
to go out and play."
aspect Du Plessis and the rest of the batsmen will be looking to
improve on from last season is the conversion of
starts into big hundreds.
Dean Elgar scored the only century during the
series against England, a glaring let down on a key performance area
that has underpinned past batting success.
"As a batting unit we haven't scored the amount of runs that we would
have liked," he admitted.
"The conditions were
really tough in England, speaking to someone like Alastair Cook who said
those were the toughest conditions he has played in in England and he
has played a few matches there.
"These are home conditions, this is where we need to step up and score
some runs on the board," he added.
like a good batting wicket out there and all of the guys are in good
touch. It helped everyone to go and play in the Sunfoil Series matches
this weekend, it has been a while since everyone was available to do
that. There was a lot of benefit for the batting
unit, everyone scored hundreds and scored big runs, that will stand us
in good stead for these two Test matches."
The first Test is scheduled to start at 10:00.
Proteas Test squad for first Test against Bangladesh:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada