Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says there is still uncertainty over whether he will bat at three or four in ODIs going forward.
After AB de Villiers’ departure, the Proteas have given Reeza Hendricks the chance to bat in the number three spot. With De Villiers’ No 4 place in the side up for grabs.
Hendricks enjoyed a great debut at No 3, scoring a century against Sri Lanka at Kandy in August.
Aiden Markram has also been tested in this position, as well as in the number four spot, while JP Duminy has expressed his desire to bat at number four. The uncertainty clearly stems from De Villiers’ departure, as the Proteas’ continue with their batting experiments which is only expected to end only after the Australia series.
Talking to the media at Boland Park, Du Plessis expressed where he would like to bat for the side.
‘Tomorrow I’m going to bat three, but there is a thinking in the brains trust especially the coach, he likes me at four, so that’s something we will still tinker with and play around with and see what’s best for the team.’
The Proteas struggled with their batting in the first two ODIs. The top six/seven have struggled to kick on and score runs, apart from Heinrich Klaasen, who was crucial in saving the Proteas from embarrassment in the first ODI.
The batting performance from the top order in the second ODI was even worse, with the Proteas’ top seven being skittled for 101 runs… and it took a brilliant half-century from Dale Steyn to save them.
‘It [batting] has been difficult with the wickets that we have been playing on,’ admitted Du Plessis. ‘One or two guys have been looking good but from a batting-unit point of view, it has been tough for the guys.
‘I am hoping tomorrow [Saturday] will be a lot different – it looks like a good wicket. That is what you want to see, you want big runs on the board and games going on a bit longer.
‘It’s quite tough to judge guys on what they have been playing on – I feel it’s a little bit harsh, but sometimes that’s just how it works. Some guys get debuts when it’s flat and a little bit easier, while others get it a little harder.
‘I was impressed [by] the way Heinrich Klaasen played in the first ODI. He showed signs of what we are looking for from him,’ he said.
‘Aiden is looking good, we just need him to push harder and get a better score.’