• SA sure of scoring and defending 350-plus

    Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is confident South Africa have the batting order to post scores of 350-plus at the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom, while coach Ottis Gibson is adamant the bowlers can successfully defend similar totals.

    The ongoing series between England and Pakistan has suggested the 2019 World Cup will produce plenty of high scores. The three completed matches in the five-match series have yielded an average score of 355. The same venues used by England and Pakistan – the Rose Bowl in Southampton, County Ground in Bristol, Trent Bridge in Nottingham and others – will host World Cup fixtures.

    ‘All batters who have the potential to be your big-hitters will play a huge role. We are lucky that we have guys like David [Miller], JP [Duminy] and myself, if I’m in at the crease I can do it at the end. Quinton is a guy who does it at the top. We have those players and they are the ones who get you big scores,’ said du Plessis.

    ‘People are saying that the wickets are great for batting. They are better wickets than we play on normally. But I honestly believe that we are going there with a very, very powerful bowling attack, so whatever the batters get, I do believe the bowlers can defend it at anytime.’

    South Africa have only scored 350 or more once in the last 20 months. The highest total they’ve managed in England was the 328 for five in defeat at the Rose Bowl two years ago. This year’s 10 ODIs, though, haven’t seen the Proteas concede more than the 267 for five managed by Pakistan in Port Elizabeth in January.

    ‘We have been playing well, a certain type of cricket – and have spoken a lot about it. We don’t want to read too much into what is going on between England and Pakistan at the moment. Both teams are missing certain bowlers,’ added Gibson.

    ‘We have the bowling attack to defend any score we get. We feel that whatever score we put on the board, we definitely have the bowling attack to defend that score.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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