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2019 Cricket World Cup, England vs South Africa: Stats reveal Virat Kohli was right in picking Faf du Plessis in his team

Virat Kohli had picked Faf du Plessis when asked to name an opposition player he would like to have in his team. Stats now reveal kohli was spot on with his choice.

cricket Updated: May 30, 2019 13:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
2019 Cricket World Cup,England vs South Africa,Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (captain) of India and Faf du Plessis(c) of South Africa with the series trophy during the 1st One Day International match between South Africa and India held at Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban on the 1st feb 2018 Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS

During the pre-tournament press conference, all the 10 captains were given a hypothetical situation wherein they could pick any player from the other side and India skipper Virat Kohli ended up picking South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis.

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“It is very difficult to choose someone. We feel we are such a strong side. But if I have to choose one from the current lot...since AB (de Villiers) is retired now, I would choose Faf (du Plessis),” said Kohli at the official captains’ media conference.

Stats have now revealed that Virat Kohli was spot on with his choice as du Plessis was one of the key performers for South Africa since the 2015 World Cup.

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Since the last multi-national event in Australia, du Plessis has been in sensational form and is South Africa’s second highest run-getter, only behind wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock. But du Plessis is tied with de Kock in the list of most fifties for South Africa in the same time period.

Since becoming the captain of the side, du Plessis has become even more lethal with the blade as he has the second-highest average for a captain (minimum 20 matches) since the last World Cup. He is only behind India captain Virat Kohli in this illustrious list.

There is also a huge difference between du Plessis’ stats before and after the 2015 World Cup. He averaged just 36.6 before but after the showpiece event Down Under, he has averaged 60.3. His strike-rate has also gone up and he has also hit more fifties in this time period.

The Proteas will be tested early in the ICC World Cup 2019 as they have to lock horns against top favourites England and India in their first three matches and du Plessis will hold the key for South Africa if they are to get out of these fixtures unscathed.

First Published: May 30, 2019 11:37 IST