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
“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