Faf du Plessis, captain and chief architect of South Africa’s thumping 142 run victory in the second One-Day International (ODI) against Australia in Johannesburg on Sunday, expressed his delight at his team’s complete performance that saw South Africa outplay the ODI world champions in all departments.
Partnerships of 70, 76 and 150 for the first, second and third wickets respectively formed the spine of South Africa’s batting as they made optimum use of a steady start to amass a big total. Du Plessis scored 111 runs which formed an axis of two crucial stands that provided the hosts the perfect foundation for a middle and a lower order to hit out towards the end of the innings and score runs freely in the final 10 overs.
“That was a complete game,” du Plessis said in the post-match press conference. “A great disciplined batting performance and as good a performance I think you’ll see from us. To beat Australia, which is a fantastic one-day team, to beat them like that means we’ve competed in every aspect of the game.”
Now, an experienced AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla could be back in the ranks for the Proteas and Australian team will have a lot to ponder before the third ODI in the coastal city of Durban.
“Our performances have been extremely good and it’s without the two best players in the world. It shows that there is a future without AB de Villiers. Hopefully, we can have him back and Hashim Amla, but it shows that there is a lot of talent in South African cricket.”
In the second ODI, nothing had gone well in Australia’s favor as South Africa dominated proceedings against a relatively inexperienced fast bowling attack and managed to snuff out the threat that David Warner posed early on in chase.
With star fast bowler Mitchell Starc opted out from the series, Australia had to field debutant pacers, Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie who endured a forgettable first outing.
While the win over Australia inflates South Africa’s confidence, du Plessis was mindful of the fact that the visitors were a depleted side without the service of a bowler like Mitchell Starc.
“You throw Starc back into that team, it’s completely different,” du Plessis said. “He’s proven many times, he gets wickets, he’s got that extra pace, he’s extremely good to the tail-enders. He gets the ball to reverse…
“In the West Indies, he did that to us twice, came in and just rolled over the tail. The extra pace in all formats is a weapon that a captain wants to have on his side,” du Plessis summed up.