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Faf du Plessis expects India to play hard cricket in ODI series

South Africa cricket team has never won a World Cup and so Faf du Plessis and Co. are keen on blooding in youngsters like Khaya Zondo in the series against Indian cricket team with an eye on the next ICC ODI World Cup.

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2018 22:13 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Durban
South Africa vs India,SA vs IND,Faf du Plessis
South Africa cricket team skipper Faf du Plessis says he and his team will be ready with more intensity to face the Indian cricket team in the ODI and T20 series.(Getty Images)

While the Test series has taken plenty out of South Africa and Faf du Plessis making no bones about it, the skipper has another headache – that of playing XIs that may not be the best but certainly important from the point of view of preparing for the 2019 World Cup.

“I think our mindset has changed, we have always been focused on the now. When you get to the big tournament, that becomes your focus as well. I feel this is the first time when we have taken a small step into the now and bigger step into the future where we are trying to see. This is the first time every conversation we have as selection panel, captain or coach, see how we could have a look at more players,” he said ahead of the ODI series.

South Africa have never won a World Cup, so it is understandable that they are changing their policy and wanting to blood in youngsters like Khaya Zondo with an eye on the next World Cup.

Asked if he was feeling relieved, the South Africa skipper said it was far from it. “I don’t feel relaxed, look its back to one-day cricket from Test cricket, so the guys wanted to step up their intensity a little bit.”

The players are tired and with not much time in between the games as they criss-cross the country, recovery will have to be quick.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) it did feel like a touch rough, you are still feeling the after-effects of the Test series which was a tough one mentally and physically. After practice yesterday (Tuesday), the boys were tired. But it is what it is. It has been a quick turnaround and it is going to be not a lot of time between the games. It is important how you get yourself ready for the next game every time.”

Du Plessis said while teams visiting the country have found it tough to win games, the current Indian team has players who can change the record.

“I think it tells a story (that India have never won a series here), it means there is something that is difficult for touring teams to come here and get accustomed to. But as I mentioned before the Test series, I feel this Indian team has got the names on paper to challenge that and get some victories in South Africa. They have proved that in the Test series and they are a quality team so I expect the same in the ODIs.”

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 21:45 IST