• Faf keen to kick on

    The Proteas are determined to regain their winning momentum when they take on India in the third One-Day International at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.

    The Proteas have held the advantage since the beginning of the tour by winning the T20I series and the first ODI of the series, before the 22-run loss in Indore put a dent to their perfect record.

    Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis says the series is evenly poised at the halfway mark, and the team will be looking for an improved performance after failing to play to their full potential in both matches.

    ‘The most disappointing thing from a team perspective is that we had India on the ropes and let them back in,’ Du Plessis said to the media in Rajkot on Saturday.

    ‘We won the T20’s 2-0 and the first ODI so we had some nice momentum behind us. We have given them a little sniff, it’s one-all in the series and they will be confident again after the win. I don’t think both teams have played their best cricket, we have been firing at 80 percent. In the previous game their batting collapsed and so did ours. I think both teams will be looking to play better cricket.’

    Du Plessis has looked in solid form, crossing the 50 mark in both matches, but says it’s disappointing that he hasn’t been able to push on for big scores, a duty that comes with his role at number three.

    ‘I was disappointed in the previous game,’ he admitted. ‘As a No 3 your role is to get big scores. From one aspect it’s nice to get runs and to chip into the team’s total but on the other hand it’s important for me to make match-winning contributions, the fifty in the previous game wasn’t that. If I do get into a position like that again I will be hard on myself to try and be more disciplined to try and get the team over the line.’

    The squad had their first full day off on Friday after a strenuous playing and travelling schedule since their arrival three weeks ago, and are refreshed and motivated for a crucial match which will have an important bearing in the context of the five-match series with both teams locked at 1-1.

    ‘The amount of mental rest you get is important when you tour India.,’ said Du Plessis. ‘It’s a long tour and quite intense so the last two days have been good in terms of taking the day off to relax, to get some gym work in and to get a mental breather. The guys are ready to go again.’

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