Blue Label Telecoms Proteas supporters should expect “fresh ideas” during the up-coming KFC T20 International Series against Pakistan starting at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday. Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis addressed the media in Durban on Thursday and suggested that he would follow an unconventional approach in his tenure as captain.
The first sign of the new outlook is the decision to open with wicket-keeper batsman, AB de Villiers, a move Du Plessis says could be a “hidden gem.”
“We feel that AB is one of the best batsmen in the world,” Du Plessis said. “He is one of those players that can score a century on the day, there aren’t a lot of players in the world who can do that. He is an X-factor player and our plan is looking ahead to the next World Cup”
With only 13 matches to go until the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year, the Proteas management is looking to settle on a core group of players who will bring stability and create consistency to combinations and game plans.
“We are trying to get a squad of 15 where 95 percent of the players will be going to the World Cup,” he said. “In saying that, there are still 13 games to make sure that we get our combinations right, that is an area we haven’t got it right before. Maybe we can use the next six games to try out some combinations and the last few building up to the World Cup to start settling into those combinations and roles to make sure that we have more of a plan closer to the time.”
The lean scheduling of T20 Internationals on the Future Tours Programme makes it difficult for the T20 group to create momentum, however, some pro-active thinking and creativity may help counter this.
“It’s not ideal in terms of preparation, but it is what it is,” Du Plessis said of the nature of the schedule. “One thing we have decided is to use our practices with the future in mind. As a captain in this series I will take decisions that may be questioned on the day but there is a plan behind it.
“We are practising skills now so that we will be better at them in six to ten games,” he ended.