Faf du Plessis believes the Proteas are establishing a ‘fearless’ and attractive brand of winning cricket.
The Proteas skipper – who was speaking to the press on his return from Sri Lanka through injury – was emphatic about the manner in which the Proteas want to play cricket: fearlessly.
There was evidence of this approach when they took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, winning by five wickets, four wickets and 78 runs in the first three ODIs. They will look to implement the same approach in all of their limited-overs matches, with an aim to carry that approach into the 2019 World Cup.
‘[There’s] a lot of emphasis on the way we play and how we want to play,’ said Du Plessis.
‘The vision myself and the coach [Ottis Gibson] have is all about how we are going to win the World Cup. I think you can see the guys are playing an exciting brand of cricket.
‘There are a few young faces playing fearless cricket. To beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka three times in a row is no mean feat. We are starting to answer quite a few of those questions.
‘There are still a few things that need to happen over the course of the next six months to a year. I see that as a great opportunity, especially for the younger guys.
‘The experienced players don’t need more experience. It is about getting the younger guys as much experience as possible. Even if that means if there are one or two series where we rest the more senior players, just to get the younger players more experience.’
A massive part of this aggressive approach – or, as the Proteas head coach said ahead of the Test series, ‘positive cricket’ – is South Africa’s pace attack. This was particularly evident in all three ODIs in Sri Lanka, with Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi kickstarting their opening bowling partnership.
‘I am really excited about our opening bowling combination: KG [Kagiso Rabada] and Lungi [Ngidi]. That’s very nice for us. They strike and they take wickets. There are some nice young batters coming through, which is putting pressure on the more experienced batters.
‘Obviously, when AB [de Villiers] retired, that forced us to change a few things, which is why I moved to No 4 – just playing around with one or two things to see what is our best combination.’
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