• Faf backs AB as opener

    South Africa will persevere with AB de Villiers at the top of the order because the conditions in India for the World T20 differ from the pitches in South Africa.

    De Villiers hasn’t come off so far in the series against Australia which has led to renewed calls from certain sectors to move him to No 3.

    At his post-match conference after Sunday’s second T20 international, which Australia won by five wickets to square the series with a game to play, Du Plessis defended the decision to open the batting with De Villiers.

    ‘The results of AB going in at the top does not have a direct impact on what we think about the World Cup,’ Du Plessis said.

    ‘From a structure point of view, I think our strongest team is with AB at the top in India, but if all things lead against it then you have to reconsider,’ he said.

    Du Plessis also made a good point that people should not be overly critical of De Villiers’ failing at the top after just two games.

    He played well against England and received widespread praise for his 71 off 29 balls, also at the Wanderers, which helped to clinch the series against England.

    Du Plessis defended his bowlers after they failed to defend 204, but did admit that they could have done the basics better.

    ‘I thought 200 was enough, but as we’ve seen countless times, you can bat as well as you want, it’s always a possibility, here at the Wanderers, a team will chase it down if they bat well. I thought we batted really well,’ Du Plessis said.

    ‘We paced our innings very well. We started amazingly with the new ball and then we made a few mistakes in the middle, with some really good batting and some really good cricket shots.¬†Once again at the end all you can ask for from your bowlers is to be skilful enough to bowl the ball in the right areas at the death and we did that, so I’m not overly disappointed in the game.

    ‘For me the disappointing thing is that when the game is on the line, you want to make sure you get your basics right. To go bowl two free hits in the last two and a half overs is a match-swing of about 10-12 runs; so for me it’s just about getting the basics right,’ he said.

    He also praised the batting of David Warner (77 off 40) and Glenn Maxwell (75 off 43), who shared a 161-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

    ‘David Warner and Glenn Maxwell¬†played really well so you have to give them credit. To get a partnership of 150 without giving us a chance was exceptional batting.’

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    SA CRICKET