Proteas aim to be 'smart' in Nagpur

Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas will have to be ‘smart’ in their approach and game plans for their ICC World Twenty20 Group 1 match against the West Indies in Nagpur on Friday.

Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, says the vast change in conditions from the Wankhede Stadium to the VCA Stadium will require a different mindset to make the transition, as they prepare for a powerful onslaught from the men from the Caribbean who are unbeaten in the tournament.

“What has been important is the fact that as a team we rely on being smart and on making the correct decisions depending on the surface on the day,” he said to the media on Thursday.

“You need to consistently prepare for those sort of scenarios. In every match you need to adapt, you don’t rely on one game plan or on one specific batsman to come off.

“We do that well as a team,” he said.  

“As a batting unit we adapt quickly and we are smart in our decision-making. We have players who can play quite a few different roles, that is going to be the key here. If it’s a slow bunsen burner then we have to make the transition a lot quicker than the West Indies.”

Du Plessis says it’s important to ‘peak’ at the right time due to the fast-paced nature of the tournament, and has taken encouragement from the way the bowlers continue to make improvements following the loss to England and the win against Afghanistan. The conditions in Nagpur have opened up the opportunity to play two frontline spinners, which leaves a difficult selection conundrum on the make-up of the fast bowling attack.  

“It’s a nice headache to have,” he said of selection.

“As a team we have done well over the last 18 months without Dale Steyn, who brings a lot of experience to the squad. Kagiso (Rabada) has stepped up, Kyle Abbott has been a silent assassin, he does his job without anybody noticing so everyone has performed. We have had a few of these headaches for the selection of this game. For the first time we have depth as a team, we are relying on that depth to come through.

“You can’t come here thinking any match is going to be easy,” he said.

“Afghanistan was a difficult game for us, I still think that they can beat someone in this tournament. We would have liked to start that first match with a win after posting 230 but it didn’t work out that way. We know that we have to play our best cricket leading up to the semi-finals.

“It’s a nice boat to be in,” added. “You have to peak at the right time, that is when you win tournaments. As a team we have been going at 60% for a while and I’m hoping we’ll step it up a gear as we head into the crunch matches.”  


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