• Confidence in T20 team grows

    After a thrilling 2-0 series win in the T20 internationals, captain Faf du Plessis says he doesn’t think South Africa have any weaknesses in their team.

    South Africa wrapped up the series in emphatic style at the Wanderers on Sunday, beating England by nine wickets and 32 balls to spare thanks to a sparkling 71 (29 balls) from AB de Villiers and an equally impressive 69 not out (38 balls) from Hashim Amla.

    The result means South Africa have won their last five games across the ODI and T20 formats and will take a lot of confidence into the three-match series against Australia next month.

    ‘I honestly don’t feel like we’ve got a hole in our team or feel that there is an area where we are weak,’ Du Plessis said at his post-match press conference.

    ‘I feel we have a really well-balanced squad of 15 players. What you always look for is consistency and we as a team have had excellent consistency over the last two years in T20 cricket.

    ‘You always want to imprint something on a team, so that when you meet them again they remember the feeling or the results they had. From a mental point of view it’s great. I suppose the English team will also say, from their point of view, when we meet in the World Cup, it’s a new opportunity, it’s all square. However, we as a team will take a huge amount of confidence from this series.’

    South Africa bowled well up front and again at the death, but were poor in the middle overs where Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler shared a 96-run partnership to put their team in a very promising position. Things went pear-shaped for them after that as the visitors lost their last seven wickets for just 14 runs, slumping from 157-3 to 171 all out in the space of 19 balls.

    ‘The first three or four overs we set the tone beautifully with KG [Kagiso Rabada] and Abbo [Kyle Abbott],’ Du Plessis said.

    ‘And then England played well, mixed with a bit of bad execution from our side, but to bring it back like we did there, six overs for 30 runs or something, to get six wickets [in a short amount of time] was unheard of in T20 cricket.

    ‘That means a lot for us as a death-bowling unit. It’s something we’ve worked a lot on and it’s something we pride ourselves on now, having great options at the death.’

    De Villiers and Amla shared a 125-run opening stand which will put pressure on Quinton de Kock, who was rested for these two games after picking up a knee injury during the Test series.

    ‘For me it’s not a headache,’ Du Plessis said about their selections at the top of the order. ‘It’s great to have options. We’ll have to assess in India who we think is the best option to go up the top. Obviously we’ve got Australia to come now so we’ll possibly look to rotate a few players if we can, when we can to try and get the whole squad to play some cricket.’

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