South Africa and Australia will lock horns on Sunday for the first time since the infamous ball-tampering scandal. However, despite the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis expects stiff competition and a tough fight between the two sides. Stating that the series down under will provide South Africa a chance to test the bench, du Plessis maintained that it will be important for the newbies in the team to get experience under the belt.
“Whenever you get a chance to play against Australia it feels like you are playing against a good cricket team,” du Plessis said while addressing the media on Saturday. “When you look at whom they have in their squad at the moment, on paper there are some fantastic names on there with the ball and bat. The results haven’t been as good as what they would have liked, but from our point of view, it is important that we look at Australia as the team who are always tough to beat when there is a clash between South Africa and Australia,” cricbuzz quoted him as saying.
“We have a few questions that need answering before the World Cup,” du Plessis accepted. “We have quite a bit of experience but it’s the next group of players who are important at a World Cup. One, if they can potentially put their name in the hat and two, for them to gain more experience. We have gone to tournaments in the past where we have played the same team leading up and those players played a lot of cricket, but you are also one injury away from someone else having to play a game with little experience,” du Plessis explained.
“The good thing is that it has given us a real opportunity to blood youngsters, to give them good game-time under the belt. When the time comes, if they do get picked for the World Cup, there are at least 20 games under their name and they have a lot more maturity when it comes to decision-making,” he concluded.