I expect to face an aggressive Indian team: Faf du Plessis
The upcoming T20 series between India and South Africa will be a high-octane clash between the two heavyweights of the game. With India being supremely strong at home and South African players having immense experience in sub-continent conditions the fans are in for an exciting series ahead.
Du Plessis’s experience with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) should come good for the tourists, more so for Du Plessis himself as a leader marshalling his troops since he played under MS Dhoni at CSK and will be well aware of the strategies the Indian skipper employs on the field.
But playing in front of packed Indian stadiums can at times put off youngsters, which is where the experience of Du Plessis and other seniors in the squad will count.
“A few of us are used to those crowds of 50,000 or 60,000 people, but for the younger guys it’s something to get used to. When you get there at the beginning of your career, the fans can be quite intimidating,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by thenews.com.pk.
But that, says the SA T20 captain, is exciting at the same time because those young players have an opportunity to impress for a place in the World T20 squad.
“I am excited about this tour because it’s in India, where we are going to play the World T20. There are a few guys who are getting an opportunity, guys who can potentially make an impact in these conditions,” the middle-order batsman said.
“Everything that we do as a T20 side is geared towards that World T20 and there is no difference for this series,” he added.
Coming back to playing under Dhoni, Du Plessis, who has developed a calm demeanour similar to MSD’s, will surely take cues from what he watched his CSK skipper doing on the field.
“MS’s strength as a captain is his cricket brain. He controls everything on the field, everything is up to him,” the South African said.
“He will set the field. He will tell the bowler what to bowl. He will decide the batting order. He will decide when he goes in to bat. He is a very powerful member in that Indian team. And MS is very calm. When there is real pressure in the field, guys look to MS,” he explained.
But that doesn’t mean India will be short of aggression, with Team Director Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli always advocating a policy of never taking a step back and giving it back to the opposition in equal measure.
“We’ll see a little bit more of that aggression in this series than we usually do from India. Usually, they are pretty chilled and smile and relaxed on the field and just talk around the bat when the spinners are bowling, but it’s a new phase of Indian cricket and we’ve also got a few guys who can do a bit of that,” the right-hander, who is making a return after a knee injury, said.
The South Africans will play three T20Is, five ODIs and four Tests on a gruelling 72-day tour that begins with the T20 series from October 2 in Dharamsala.
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