Faf du Plessis only wants to get better after his heroics in SA’s victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Du Plessis scored 185 off 141 balls in a Man of the Match performance to help SA post 367-5. Both his ton and SA’s score is now the highest ever total at Newlands. The knock on Tuesday shattered Du Plessis’ previous career-best score of 133 not out against India and crushed David Warner’s 173 which he scored in the final game against SA in October 2016.
The 32-year-old revealed that he wasn’t thinking about records, but remained focused on getting his side to a big total.
‘I didn’t know about the record. It would have been nice, but I didn’t think about it for one second,’ said Du Plessis. ‘The double hundred was nowhere near my mind. At the time I was just trying to get as many runs as possible.’
The Test skipper has seemed to draw inspiration from his captaincy for the Test side and is delighted, not threatened, by AB De Villiers’ return.
‘Being a captain makes me play better and it’s been the reason for my form. Confidence and momentum that comes with that definitely helps and makes you raise your own performance. It just makes you want to be a better player.
‘I enjoy the extra responsibility, but since AB’s come back we’ve worked well together. On the field my decisions are similar, we talk from the same mouth.’
Du Plessis is arguably in the form of his life. In this format he has three centuries and two half-centuries from his past eight innings. He’s only looking to get better however. While he used to settle for being a ‘good’ player, he’s now put emphasis on the word ‘great’.
‘My challenge was to be a good player … now it’s to be a great player, and it’s just a matter of constantly raising the bar and changing your mindset.’
He concluded by praising the combined effort from the Proteas’ bowlers and batsmen, complimenting them for the way they handled themselves throughout the series.
‘Our skills have been really consistent. Right through the series, the batsmen have been really disciplined in the way they’ve wanted to play,’ said Du Plessis.
‘The Sri Lankan team possibly don’t have the best batting lineup in the world that we’ve bowled against, but we still did what was required, it was in a pressure situation and although the bowlers didn’t start as they’d liked to, they came back.’
SA will turn their attention to a 5-0 whitewash with their next ODI starting on Friday in Centurion. A win will guarantee the Proteas the No 1 spot on the ODI rankings, knocking Australia to second.
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