Cape Town - Proteas T20 captain, Faf du Plessis, says adapting to conditions as quickly as possible will be important in the first KFC T20 International against Australia at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday.
The pre-match strip at Kingsmead suggests it will be a sluggish encounter compared to the free-flowing Bidvest Wanderers Stadium last week, and will be another valuable litmus test for the squad as they continue to fine-tune their preparation ahead of the ICC World T20.
“We will have to adapt,” Du Plessis said on Thursday ahead of the opening match.
“Even though we may be playing in home conditions, it’s really important for us to make smart decisions on the field. The team which does that best in India is the team that adapts better. For us as a team it’s about being smart and adapting our game to whatever surface we are given, we saw that against England. We played two different matches in the first and second, we are not a one-dimensional team, I think that is our strength.”
The selectors have a ‘great’ headache in terms of which player to pick to partner AB de Villiers at the top of the order. Quinton de Kock is available for selection following his rest during the series against England, while Hashim Amla comes into the series on the back of a career-best 69 not out against England at the Wanderers last week. They are both match-winners and in impressive form, but only one of them can be picked to slot in at the top.
“We are looking to give everyone in the squad a go in this series,” Du Plessis explained.
“We want to try all of the combinations of Quinton and AB or of Hashim and AB. We will try and give everyone a game this series. Both of them have done really well, they are in good form, that’s great if we can have more depth in our squad going to the World Cup. I don’t see it as a problem, the more options you have as a captain the better.”
Despite the big gap on the ICC T20 team rankings, South Africa are ranked second and Australia are ranked seventh, Du Plessis says the star-studded visitors will be a tough challenge with the explosive big-hitters and match-winners in their squad.
“Australia will always be a strong team, no matter where they are on the rankings,” he said.
“They’ve got some great match-winners in the squad that is here. For us it’s the same business, we are playing good cricket and we know that if we play to our full potential there is a high possibility of us winning this series. We want to make sure we get better in every game and try to improve as a team, we have been doing that. The energy in the camp is really good, I’m happy to see where everyone is at so we are in a good space and looking forward to the series.”