Faf du Plessis, the Proteas’ new captain, believes his side have a great depth which overcomes the loss of big-name players.
Fresh from a series win in Australia, Du Plessis is preparing for the home series against Sri Lanka with confidence, despite the fact that he has lost AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Rilee Rossouw.
In return, he welcomed back Wayne Parnell and will be introduced to new batsman Theunis de Bruyn.
‘We are lucky that there are guys who are waiting,’ he said at a Press briefing. ‘Morne is a fantastic Test bowler, you don’t have to say anything about him. With injury, it has been difficult for him to get back in. Kyle Abbott has done a fantastic job, but Morne is in the wings. We always need to make sure there are two or three guys who are ready to step up.
‘Parnell has been plagued by injuries, so it’s good to see his hard work has paid off. He brings variety: left-arm seamer who can bowl quick. It’s really important that he can bat as well. The more options that you have in a team when you have a longer batting line-up, the better.
‘You saw in Australia now with someone like Keshav Maharaj, a spinner that can bat, how much of a difference it actually makes when your top order doesn’t do their jobs on the day.’
But at the same time, the captain is determined to ensure the top order rise to the occasion.
‘My thing is to make sure the guys who are in form take full responsibility to score runs,’ he said. ‘It’s going to happen that you’re going to get out of form and you are going to get good balls, but guys who are batting well at any point in time have to make sure that they score the big runs for the team. If someone like Hashim Amla had a series where he didn’t score the runs that he wanted to, for me it’s not as important as making sure Quinton who was in form cashed in. Temba Bavuma was also consistent.
JP Duminy, he believes, is now settled in the No 4 batting position, giving himself more space and less pressure at 5.
‘JP looks like the JP we know he can be. I’ve got the captaincy so I don’t need more extra responsibility but it’s nice for JP. He has that responsibility and he feels like he needs to go out there and score big hundreds for the team.
‘At No 7, you bat with the tail and you tonk a few and you can get a good ball and that’s why Quinton de Kock is perfect for that role. He takes the game away from the opposition. I like that extra responsibility on JP.’
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