South Africa Captain Faf du Plessis has said that he wants Proteas to play a courageous brand of limited overs game at the ICC Cricket World Cup in England next year.
Currently ranked 4th best ODI side in the world, South Africa has never won the game's biggest marquee event despite reaching its semi-finals four times and this is why, Faf wants his men to be as brave in the way they go about things as possible for the 10-team competition in 2019.
“For me, you can see in the current group there is some young, courageous players in there,” Faf was recently quoted saying, “I believe that is the way we’ll win the World Cup; to really go there without all the baggage and go ‘these are the most talented and courageous cricketers’ and play a style of cricket that doesn’t limit us from being so mentally challenged by going to a World Cup every time."
“Because, let’s be honest, that’s probably the only hurdle we haven’t overcome is the mental aspect of it. We’ve always been skilfully right up there, just lacking in crucial aspects of the game. That’s why my message is to free players up mentally, try get them to a space where they’re not fearing failing." he added, “I’ve been involved in two World Cups now where we’ve tried two different approaches, from leading up to the tournament and a mental approach. I certainly have seen the good, the benefits, and bad from both of them.”
Du Plessis is hinging hopes on the likes of Kagiso Rabada and other strike weapons with the ball for this dream and believes that they'll deliver when it matters the most.
He said, "I think if you look at Pakistan who won the Champions Trophy, your bowling unit is going to play a massive role, We went there [Champions Trophy] with probably the best batting line-up in the world - I think we had four of the top ten batters, so we were feeling very confident in the batting unit we had. But the ability to get wickets in those conditions seemed to be the ten percenter, so that’s why we’re looking at guys who can get you wickets at any stage of a game."
On the batting front, he added, “From a batting point of view, try and have as long a batting line-up as you can. That’s probably why England will call themselves favourites, because they have a very long batting line-up. It’s a little different with our team, we don’t have those guys who are all-rounders.”
While Faf confirmed that Dale Steyn is definitely part of his plans for the tournament next year, he also said that there are spots up for grabs.
“Yes( regarding Dale Steyn)" he added, "We probably need one more fast bowler. You probably need three fast bowlers in your squad, over the next two series, we’ll see who grabs that opportunity.”
(Inputs from ICC)