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'20s & 30s Won't Win us the World Cup' - Du Plessis Urges Batsmen to Step up

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 11, 2019, 6:56 PM IST
'20s & 30s Won't Win us the World Cup' - Du Plessis Urges Batsmen to Step up

South Africa's Faf du Plessis celebrates his century. (Image: AP)

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Faf du Plessis has urged the South African batsmen to up their game insisting that scoring 20s and 30s will not be enough to win the side a World Cup title. South Africa have been dominant in the ongoing five-match ODI series and took an unassailable 3-0 lead with a 71-run win (DLS) over Sri Lanka in Durban last evening.

However, bar Quinton de Kock and du Plessis the rest of the batsmen haven't quite fired in the series which isn't ideal with the quadrennial event just a few months away.

"We spoke a little about the batting in the previous game, and wanting to be better and raising the standards. Just purely on personal performance, 20s and 30s are not going to win us the World Cup." Du Plessis said.

"If you're doing okay, that's not enough. We want those standards to be higher and better because that's what is going to be the difference."

While de Kock leads the run charts in the ongoing series with 296 runs in three games and du Plessis is second on the list, the likes of Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller have not lived up to their expectations. Du Plessis asserted that on a world stage, every player will have to put their hands up rather than just one or two batsmen doing the bulk of the job.

"We can't have a mediocre batting line-up and one or two guys performing at the World Cup. We need two or three guys every single game to put their hand up," he remarked.

"Everyone needs to contribute, every single game. You're not guaranteed performance, but you are guaranteed of putting in the style of play, of putting in the hard work and raising your intensity and trying to make sure that you can be a better player than you've been before. And I think slowly but surely you can see that from the players."

Du Plessis was further effusive in praise of de Kock who has been in glorious form so far in the series. The southpaw has been crucial in getting South Africa off to blazing starts and in all three games has had a major impact.

"It puts the bowlers under real pressure. When he's on, you as a batting unit can't take a team down. He hits good balls for four. Most batters will allow for the bowler to make a mistake and then take it to the boundary, but what he does when he's in that mode is he hits you off your good balls and then you bowl bad balls to him," said du Plessis on de Kock.

"Some bowlers will get a bit of white knuckles against him, because they fear what he does to them. So when he does do that, he almost transforms the bowling attack for the rest of the batting line up. It's a real dangerous power that he has, and we're lucky to have him in our side."

South Africa have a handful of games remaining before the World Cup begins and du Plessis said that he was happy with how his side was shaping up for the mega event.

"The guys are going towards the right direction. We're making less mistakes. We're getting better as a team. This series was about answering the questions that we had from a balance point of view, and I'm 99.9% sure we're there where we need to be. The next two games will give the 0.1% of the things that are still in pencil," du Plessis signed off.
First Published: March 11, 2019, 6:56 PM IST
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