Proteas captain Faf du Plessis confirmed everyone is fit and available for selection for the fifth and final ODI against Australia on Wednesday.
The South Africans went through their paces in the nets on Tuesday ahead of what could be a historic clash at Newlands on Wednesday, as they look to inflict a whitewash series defeat on Australia, which will be the first time the tourists have ever lost five matches in an ODI series.
Skipper Du Plessis told the media that everyone is fit and rearing to go, which could give the selectors a bit of a headache.
‘The only slight niggle is Tabraiz Shamsi, who we might not risk ahead of the Test series Down Under,’ said Du Plessis.
Even David Miller, centurion from the Kingsmead match, was batting in the nets and appeared untroubled by the groin injury that was supposed to rule him out for the rest of the series. Temba Bavuma was there as batting cover as Farhaan Behardien was a slight injury concern too, but everyone survived the session.
‘It gives us the opportunity of once again looking at playing as strong an 11 as we can. We want to see what the weather is going to do tomorrow before deciding whether we want to play an extra spinner or not,’ said Du Plessis.
Perhaps one of the biggest areas of focus for the selectors will be in the bowling department, after Kyle Abbott’s Man-of-the-Match 4-40.
‘Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada were hurt after their last ODI [they conceded 2-96 and 0-82 respectively], but they’re in a good space mentally and ready to go,’ Du Plessis said.
‘Kyle really put up his hand in the previous game and it’s always difficult to leave a guy like that out when he’s put a performance in like that.’
On Shamsi’s feud with Matthew Wade from the fourth ODI, which saw both players having 25% of their match fee docked, Du Plessis was quick to defend his player’s attitude and role in the incident.
‘Shamsi is there to compete and I loved seeing him step up with his aggression,’ he said.
The camaraderie displayed from Du Plessis was indicative of the way he has been as a captain throughout the series, and it has reflected in the performances, as they look to close out the whitewash on Wednesday.
‘The direction of the team is on a different path. Everyone knows it’s not an individual game,’ he said. ‘The squad is in a really good place. Our batting has been a level up to what I’ve seen in the past. It’s ensured that they haven’t been able to compete with us.
‘Captaincy doesn’t equal form, but it does bring the best out of me. I need to be the best me that I can be as captain.
‘If you play against Australia every bit of confidence helps ahead of the Test series. That’s why we really want the 5-0,’ he concluded.
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