Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SA expect to combat heat and Tigers

The sweltering heat and the new-found confidence of Bangladesh will be the biggest challenge for South Africa in the upcoming home series against Tigers, said batsman Faf du Plessis on Wednesday. Du Plessis will lead South Africa in two Twenty20 Internationals against Bangladesh next week before Hashim Amla takes over the charge for the one-day and Test series.The series poses a great challenge for South Africa, who, apart from July weather when temperature ranges from 30 to 40 degree Celsius, also need to encounter a jubilant home side.
The Tigers will go into the series with their confidence on a sky high after they blanked Pakistan 3-0 in a one-day series in April and beat India 2-1 last month following their World Cup quarter-final exit.
Asked their biggest challenge in the tour, Faf du Plessis, who visited Bangladesh with the South Africa squad during the World Cup 2011 and ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, put the condition before the Tigers.
‘I think the heat,’ Du Plessis told reporters. ‘The heat is always a challenge and I suppose we have to get used to the conditions.
‘We are a pretty high intensity team, and in warm conditions you can’t always play at that intensity, you need to pull it back a little bit.
‘That’s the first thing and then the confidence of the Bangladeshi team at the moment that we need to try and encounter.’
Du Plessis was expecting a tough challenge from Bangladesh, the World Cup quarter-finalist, who, owing to their recent success, climbed to seventh place in one-day rankings.
‘It’s incredible that Bangladesh is playing good cricket. It’s good for world cricket,’ he said.
‘They are no longer minnows anyway. They are beating big nations.
‘It’s great to see them beat India. It’s a nice opportunity for a smaller team to show what they are all about.
‘And it also makes us come here and respect their capabilities as a team. They have played really well,’ adding Du Plessis and said they are fully prepared to face the Tigers.
‘But we wouldn’t want any other way. We have got a strong squad. We are going to play the best players to try and beat Bangladesh,’ he said.
Before Bangladesh play their home series against India visiting captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had no hesitation in admitting he could not manage time to see the opponents playing fabulously against Pakistan in the preceding series.
Du Plessis was not prepared to make the same mistake and watched the Tigers fully in action against India when Tigers unveiled a new pace sensation in teenage Mustafizur Rahman.
Mustafiz left India off guard with his off-cutters and deceiving slow balls that earned him 13 wickets in three-match series against India.
‘I have had a look at him while watching the game,’ Du Plessis said of Mustafiz. ‘We haven’t had a closer look with him though. We haven’t sat down on him.
‘But I did see that he did really well but we can learn from the way India didn’t play too well against him. We can make changes and try and counter that.’
Despite the success of Mustafiz, who formed four-pronged pace attack with Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain and Mashrafee bin Murtaza, Du Plessis was expecting Bangladesh to change the strategy against his side.
‘I think that’s a surprising factor,’ he said of Bangladesh’s four-man pace attack. ‘When you play against subcontinent teams you expect spinners turning up and I suppose India would have thought that as well.
‘So that was the surprise of the series when so many good seamers had come up. Whether they will do the same against us, I am not sure.
‘I assume that because they did pretty well, you don’t think they are going to change too much but there is probably a bit more spin option,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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