Proteas

Proteas look to give more opportunities in Gold Coast T20

Faf du Plessis (AP)
Faf du Plessis (AP)

Brisbane - The Proteas are aiming to continue building a winning culture in the one-off T20 international against Australia at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The Proteas are still on a high after winning the one-day international (ODI) series 2-1 and will be motivated to cap the tour off with another win.
 
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says the lone T20 fixture is another piece of the “bigger picture” and they will look to give as many players who didn’t play in the ODI series an opportunity for game-time.
 
Chris Morris, Farhaan Behardien and Tabraiz Shamsi are the only players in the squad who have yet to feature, and are itching for an opportunity to impress on the tour.

Morris, in particular, is making a return to the squad after a lengthy injury, and last played for the Proteas in February this year.
 
“Some of the guys didn’t play any of the one-dayers,” Du Plessis said in Brisbane on Friday.

“We will try and see how we can fit in the guys who didn’t play. Once again it is part of the bigger picture, it is not just about the game tomorrow. He (Morris) is a fantastic T20 cricketer, he has got the x-factor and in a short game that is something that can change a game. We will look at our possible combinations to see how we can fit in most of the guys who haven’t played.
 
“They are excited to play,” he said of the substitutions. “We have had a good tour and they also want to get involved and get some game-time to try and impress. They could even put their names in the mix for our strongest XI in our 50-over cricket. For us, that is what it is about right now, trying to get that team to be as strong as possible for the World Cup next year.”  
 
Australia have a good record against South Africa in T20s, having won 11 of the 17 T20I head-to-head clashes on record.

The 20 000-seater multi-purpose Metricon Stadium, which is usually home to Australian Football League (AFL) side the Gold Coast SUNS, will be hosting its first international cricket match since it opened doors in 2011.
 
“We are looking forward to playing there,” Du Plessis said. “None of us have played there, it is a great part of Australia, we went to the beach there on our off-day to experience it. It will be something different, when you play a T20 International in Australia there are nice crowds, so we are looking forward to it.”
 
The match is scheduled to start at 10:20 (SA time) and will be broadcast on SuperSport.

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