South Africa’s superior batting when it came to facing spin bowling was the main difference between them and Bangladesh in the two-match T20I series, says Faf du Plessis. Kobus Pretorius reports.
It’s important to state from the outset that Bangladesh are not a good T20 side. Their strength lies more in the 50-over format where they have recently secured series victories over Pakistan and India.
Nevertheless, Faf du Plessis and his men deserve credit for the manner in which they won, quite comfortably in the end, while still managing to give a few fringe players an opportunity.
The Proteas won the second game by 31 runs on Tuesday and according to Du Plessis the score was about 15 runs over par.
‘It was another exceptional performance,’ he said. ‘Everyone put their hands up in extremely difficult conditions so I’m very proud of the boys.
‘After their recent success against Pakistan and India, Bangladesh’s confidence would have been sky high. It was important for us to put a dent in their confidence. However, I understand that ODI cricket is a different format and we will prepare well for the three-match series.’
Du Plessis acknowledged that there were a few Bangladesh players they didn’t know much about, but said the South Africans learned a lot by playing against them as appose to just analysing their skills and techniques beforehand.
‘The difference in thew two teams was the way we played spin,’ Du Plessis said, ‘and the way they tried to play our spinners. Our bowlers got a lot of wickets and dot balls and that was the difference.’
Coach Russell Domingo praised the impact debutant Eddie Leie made in helping South Africa win the second game. Leie took 3-16 in three overs which is now the best T20I bowling figures by a debutant for South Africa.
It has since been announced that Leie, who was initially only picked for the T20 squad, will stay in Bangladesh with the ODI team ‘to get exposed to the environment and to integrate him into the squad’.
‘Eddie had a very good performance, but we shouldn’t get too carried away. He showed promise and is definitely one for the future.’
With AB de Villiers having been withdrawn from the ODI squad completely, a place in the middle order has opened up.
‘AB’s absence is a great opportunity to give a guy like Rilee [Rossouw] an extended run in the middle order,’ Domingo said.