On Tuesday, Faf du Plessis’ 185 against Sri Lanka at Newlands helped South Africa gain a four-nil lead in the ODI series, and the batsman credited Test captaincy for the bloom in his form.
Racking up 16 boundaries and three massive sixes, Du Plessis helped himself to register his highest ODI score, surpassing his previous best of 133 against India in 2015. He has been in some form lately, having scored two centuries in past three matches. Riding on his knock, the Proteas registered a 40-run win and are just one victory away from claiming the number one ranking in ODIs.
Calling captaincy as his morale booster, Du Plessis said he has gained momentum with wins under his belt and that it has helped him raise his standard as a batsman too.
“Being a captain makes me play better. That’s possibly been a reason for [my good form]. The confidence and the momentum of that definitely helps. It just makes you raise your own bar of performance, you want to be a better player. My challenge to myself was to be a good player and now it’s to become a great player. So it’s just about lifting the bar and making a mind shift.”
Had Faf scored three or more runs during the match, he would have broken Gary Kirsten’s record of 188 runs, highest by a South African in One-Dayers. Talking about the milestone, Du Plessis said he wasn’t aware about the record in first place and nor was 200 in his mind. He though claimed that he was happy to cross the 180-run mark.
“I didn’t know about the record. I am very happy that I got to 180. The record is something that would have been nice but not for one second did I think of it and 200 was also not on my mind. I was just trying to get as many runs as possible.”
Glaring at records, South Africa have won all of their last nine ODI games at home and another shot at victory in Centurion would take the tally to 10-0. Post the series, the Proteas will tour New Zealand in February for a five-match ODI series.