Faf: Hope is a very dangerous thing

Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)
Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)

Cardiff - The Proteas' patience has been tested in the last week. 

Their fixture against the West Indies on Monday lasted just 7.3 overs before it was completely washed out, while the weather has continued to keep them indoors throughout this week. 

On Friday at Sophia Gardens, the Proteas finally looked set to get some much-needed outdoor training in at the venue for Saturday's clash against Afghanistan, but they were forced back to the indoor nets after just a few minutes of their familiar pre-training football match. 

That has been the case throughout the week, and skipper Faf du Plessis and his men are more desperate than ever for the weather to play its part on Saturday. 

South Africa, with one log point from four winless fixtures, need a victory to get their World Cup going. 

If they do not get a result in Cardiff, it will be catastrophic, and Du Plessis acknowledged on Friday that this had been one of the most testing periods of his captaincy so far. 

Staring a World Cup exit in the face is challenging enough, but doing it during a week of rain and no cricket even more so. 

For Du Plessis, though, this rainy week in Cardiff has been an opportunity to touch base with his players and make sure they are in the right frame of mind ahead of what will be a tournament-defining run.

"No, honestly it's just been checking in with every guy individually, see where he is and then just making sure that I make it clear to them that there needs to be purpose in what's coming up," Du Plessis said.

The Proteas are in this position, Du Plessis says, because they haven't been good enough and while their future in the tournament is not mathematically in their owns hands, they must not spend their time hoping for other results to go their way.

"You can't just hope for things to change," said Du Plessis.

"Hope's a very dangerous thing for me. You make it happen and you need to get yourself out of that space as quick as possible.

"It's about finding different keys in different players where I feel that they can lead better in different departments, where they can take more responsibility, where they can take more ownership.

"It's about trying to unlock the best in players that is lying somewhere underneath them. Hopefully we can see a little bit of that coming out in the next few games."

Play on Saturday gets underway at 14:30 (SA time).

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...   

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