Cricket

The current Indian team can challenge us in ODI series, says Faf

[caption id="attachment_62441" align="aligncenter" width="580"]DSC09088 Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis in a practice session ahead of the first ODI against India. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Durban: The rejuvenated Indian cricket team will face South Africa in the first ODI at Durban tomorrow. After winning the last Test match at Johannesburg, the Men in Blue can challenge the Proteas in the in the limited overs series feels their skipper Faf du Plessis.

“As I mentioned before the test series, I feel like this Indian cricket team has got the names on paper to challenge that and get some victories in south Africa, they have proved that in the test series and they are a quality team so I expect the same in ODIs coming up,” said Faf on the eve of the first ODI at Kingsmead.

Both the team’s are getting a little time to turn their focus on limited-overs cricket from test cricket. According to the Proteas captain, the schedule is not in their hand and it’s all about how a player prepare himself for the next game.

“Yesterday it did feel like a touch rough, you are still feeling the after effects of the test series which was a tough one mentally as well as physically. Yesterday after practice the boys were pretty tired. But it is what it is. Its been a quick turn around and its going to be not a lot of time between the games. It is important how you get yourself ready for the next game every time,” added du Plessis.

There were a lot of controversies regarding pitches in the test series. Though Faf wants good wicket in the ODI series against India.

“One day cricket should be good wickets always. Hopefully pitch talk ends now.”

The 2019 ICC World Cup is just 1 year and 2 months away. All the teams have started prepare a core team ahead of the biggest tournament in cricket. On being asked whether they are eyeing to start that preparation from this series against India, Faf said, ”I think our mindset has changed, we have always been focused on the now. And when you get to the big tournament like you mentioned, that becomes your focus as well. I feel this is the first time when we have really taken a small step into the now and bigger step into the future where we are trying to see, this is the first time every conversation we have as selection panel, captain or coach, see how we could have a look at more players. Personally I haven’t been involved in a vision like that, so obviously it shows you that we are – obviously the now is very important and we play series to win series – but there’s a big focus on how we could give guys a lot of opportunity.

“Because in a year or so from now you want to make sure that there is a group of guys that has spent time in the middle in pressure situations, so you just don’t hope that your eleven is settled at the time.”

Though It was a bowling friendly conditions, but according to Faf, he was really very surprised with the consistent performance of the Indian pacers.

“It was bowling friendly conditions in the test series but I was surprised how consistent the Indian seamers were. They were very very consistent and it showed us there is a lot of strength in their bowling department. The good thing I suppose we can take to the ODIs from a batting point of view is that there are still a few inroads we can make. We feel like we had some good plans in the test matches to certain batsmen and so if we can keep those guys quiet in the early doors of the series, we feel that as a batting unit we can keep them under pressure,” said Faf.

India’s young sensation, Jasprit Bumrah made his Test debut in the recently concluded series. Faf was a bit surprised with Bumrah’s inclusion in the playing XI ahead of Ishant but according to the Proteas skipper, he proved everyone wrong and bowled brilliant in the Test series.

“He was a surprise for us from a test selection point of view, obviously because you had more experienced bowlers in the squad. Ishant didn’t play originally, but I thought Bumrah was very impressive. A guy who plays ODI cricket, and he is obviously a really good ODI bowler, but I was really impressed with his consistency, he didn’t bowl a lot of bad balls, which shows that he is someone for the future,” added du Plessis.
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