Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says he expects a hostile limited-overs series against Australia.
The Proteas embark on a limited overs tour of Australia that will consist of three ODIs and one a T20I as their experimental phase comes to an end.
One thing that is certain about the clash, is that a feisty contest is expected between two of the biggest cricketing nations as both teams size each other up with just over seven months till the 2019 World Cup kicks off.
Being their first series meeting after the ball-tampering debacle in March 2018, Proteas skipper Du Plessis is expecting a fierce battle between the two nations once again.
‘Australia is our favourite team to play against, all the stuff that comes with playing them, on and off the field, I love that and I feel that it brings the best out of us as a team and even us as South Africans; we love that fiery competition,’ du Plessis said on Tuesday.
‘It will be nice and hostile. The last two tours, home and away, it’s certainly been very entertaining off the field. We are not expecting anything less. Zunaid our security officer has been working hard in the gym; he’s prepared for whatever lies ahead. It is a bit of a poker game as well.
‘We expect them to try and unsettle us as a team when it comes to the media space, obviously with myself being at the forefront of it, but we see it as part and parcel of touring Australia.
‘It’s definitely not an easy place to travel. The crowds do play their part. They’re like a 12th man. Your mental capabilities and strength are just as important as your skills.
‘For a lot of the new guys, it will be the first time where they field on the boundary and they hear just how good they are as human beings. That will be a new thing for them. You don’t get much of that anywhere else in the world anymore; it [Australia] is the one place where you still feel like the crowd gets on top and really behind the home team.’
Despite being struck by the injuries of JP Duminy, Hashim Amla and Wiaan Mulder, the Proteas’ ideal lineup is starting to take shape.
Du Plessis, however, agreed that their squad still needs a few tweaks.
‘We were looking to fine-tune our balance a little bit more in this series, but then the JP injury is a big one for us, because he is a two-in-one player and we don’t have a lot of them,’ du Plessis added.
‘So now you’re almost looking at two players instead of one in his place, so there are a few more new faces than anticipated for this series.’
Proteas ODI squad
Faf du Plessis (Titans, capt)
Farhaan Behardien (Titans)
Quinton de Kock (Titans)
Reeza Hendricks (Highveld Lions)
Imran Tahir (Dolphins)
Heinrich Klaasen (Titans)
Aiden Markram (Titans)
David Miller (Dolphins)
Chris Morris (Titans)
Lungisani Ngidi (Titans)
Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins)
Dwaine Pretorius (Highveld Lions)
Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions)
Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans)
Dale Steyn (Titans)
31 October: Prime Minister’s XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra (D/N)
4 November: 1st ODI, Perth (D/N)
9 November: 2nd ODI, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
11 November: 3rd ODI, Hobart (D/N)
14 November: T20 Tour match, Allan Border Field, Brisbane (Day)
17 November: T20 International, Gold Coast (Night)