• Faf ready to fight fire with fire

    Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis is sticking with the pre-tournament game plan, despite lacking the services of fast bowler Dale Steyn, writes DANIEL GALLAN in London.

    READ: Steyn out of England opener 

    ‘It is a big loss to our team, as Dale makes our bowling attack a very very strong one,’ Du Plessis said at today’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s first match against England.

    ‘He was our Plan A for the World Cup. Now it’s just a reshuffle and looking to Plan B and C.’

    Having said that, Du Plessis is still placing his faith in out-bowling the opposition with an attacking mindset. 

    ‘There is no point in trying to play a defensive style of cricket against England, because they have shown that they can take [apart] any attack on the day,’ he said. ‘So we’ll try and pick our team to try and be as positive in team selection as we can possibly be.’

    ALSO READ: Ottis confident even without Dale

    This likely means Chris Morris will step in to the hole left by Steyn, and would cap off a remarkable turnaround from squad reject a month ago to playing a key role as one of the four seamers in the most important game of his life. Although he’ll be playing second fiddle to the two spearheads ahead of him: Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada.

    ‘They are just excited to get going and get it started and I think they will have a  huge impact in this tournament,’ said the captain about his youthful lethal opening duo, singling out Rabada for special praise.

    ‘To be a talent like he is, he doesn’t need any guidance from me. He knows much more than I do [about bowling]. It’s just about letting him free. He’s a world-class athlete. This World Cup will be a stage for KG to once again show the world what kind of bowler he is.’

    Du Plessis knows that his bowlers will not be the only apex predators on the park tomorrow. England have intimidating bowlers of their own, and the Proteas captain – who is also one of most important batters in the team – is anticipating a fight. 

    ‘They have got wicket-takers and their spinners do well in these conditions. Adding [Jofra] Archer to the team [gives them] a different dynamic.’

    The match gets under way at 11:30am at the Oval.

    – Gallan is a London-based freelance cricket writer, follow him on Twitter: @danielgallan

    Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

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