Sun. Sep 27th, 2020

Du Plessis desperate to keep Proteas upbeat through trials

Faf du PlessisThe Proteas have endured a nightmare start to the Cricket World Cup and to make matters worse face an in-form India at the Rose Bowl in a crucial clash.

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Skipper Faf du Plessis says that he is doing everything in his power to ensure his Proteas charges stay motivated through a difficult Cricket World Cup.

The Proteas have suffered successive defeats, the most recent of which was a dispiriting loss to Bangladesh. Adding injury to insult the Proteas have lost Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn. Ngidi will miss two matches with a hamstring strain while Steyn has been ruled out of the entire tournament and will be replaced by Beuran Hendricks.

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South Africa’s Faf du Plessis during the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match at The Oval, London.

Du Plessis and his Proteas face India in a match that isn’t quite, must-win, but one that South Africa would ideally like to win to ensure they don’t lose pace with the top four.

“For myself, it’s really important to stay strong,” he said ahead of the match. “The team will feed off my energy, and they will look up to the leadership group in the team. But I’m at the top of that, so it is important that I stay positive, I stay strong, make sure I keep motivating the guys.”

Du Plessis feels that a benchmark of six wins out of nine round-robin should see a team make the semi-finals in a very competitive tournament. The skipper opined that the Proteas needed to improve but that all hope was not lost.

“The nature of this tournament,  you can see there is a lot of teams that are challenging each other on any different day. So there is still hope for us,” he said.

“We have a lot of cricket left. Before we got here it was like six games, that’s almost the par of what you want to try and get. So, for now, it’s me really staying strong and positive, and making sure that the team feeds off that. 

“Naturally, guys will have a little bit of confidence that’s been chucked away and that is normal, that is part of being human. But it’s just making sure that we keep strong, keep fighting, and stay true to ourselves as a team and a culture. I said six games is the target, so with seven games left, it would be great if we can start that tomorrow. There’s no easy games anymore in a World Cup.”

The Proteas, led by Du Plessis, clash with India gets underway at 11:30 SAST on Wednesday 5 June.

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