Faf du Plessis is surely one person who knows a thing or two about playing in Australia and England. The two nations, in different hemispheres and with utterly contrasting conditions have been a nightmare for several opposition captains and pose a unique challenge of adapting to the conditions.
Du Plessis, however, has tasted tremendous success in Australia, having made his debut there as a player, involved in a 1-0 series victory in 2012.
Later, as captain, du Plessis took South Africa to victory not so long ago, when his side routed Steven Smith’s Australia 2-1. In England though, du Plessis didn’t have a great time, losing the four-match series 3-1, to a side that was utterly dominant.
With the Ashes later this year Down Under, the South African captain has made his pick. After being beaten by England, du Plessis feels that the Joe Root led outfit is in some serious shape to retain the urn, later this year.
“I think it’s dependent on the conditions,” du Plessis said. “I’ve always felt Australia as a team played really well on flat wickets, bouncy flat wickets, but if the conditions allow a bit of seam and swing and spin, then I think England will be favourites.”
“If you have assistance and skill, which England’s bowlers have, you can target Australia’s batting line-up,” du Plessis said. “Our batting line-up wasn’t strong enough for them. “Australia have fiery and quick batsmen so England will need to get through them. “But I think England could be Ashes winners. They have a balanced team.”
The South African captain concluded by adding that despite being a quality bowling outfit, there were still some flaws in England’s batting.
“It’s two quality teams, but with both, there are opportunities (to make inroads) in the batting line-up you can make use of, you can get a few guys out, but both teams have got real quality in their bowling,” he said.