Gearing up for the upcoming limited overs series against his “favourite” opposition Australia, South African captain Faf du Plessis says that he is really looking forward to the short but tough tour Down Under and expects the three ODIs and lone T20I tussle to "be a nice and hostile" affair.
On what is Proteas' first trip to Australia since the ugly ball-tampering incident earlier this year, where the visitors bemoaned the treatment that they received from game loving supporters of the rainbow nation, the extremely wise Faf, now foresees, facing a backlash, in return.
“Australia is our favourite team to play against, all the stuff that comes with playing them, on and off the field, I love that and I feel that brings the best out of us as a team,” said Faf on Tuesday, October 23, “It will be nice and hostile. We are not expecting anything less. Zunaid our security officer has been working hard in the gym."
“We expect them to try and unsettle us as a team when it comes to the media space, obviously with myself being at the forefront of it, but we see it as part and parcel of touring Australia,” he added.
The visiting skipper is also aware that there will be greater scrutiny than on earlier tours, over their each and every action during the stay.
“I do think this time round there may be one or two more traps for the players to try and stay away from. At the end of the day we want to go there and play a brand of winning cricket,” he said, “The crowds do play their part, they’re like a 12th man. Your mental strength is just as important as your skill. For a lot of the new guys it will be the first time where they field on the boundary and they hear just how good they are as human beings,"
“You don’t get much of that anywhere else in the world anymore, it is the one place where you still feel like the crowd gets on top and really behind the home team,” and signed off.
The short tour kickstarts with a warm-up game against Prime Ministers XI in Canberra on October 31 before the three ODIs and one-off T20I.
The first ODI takes place at Perth on November 4 and tour concludes with the one-off Twenty20 international at the Gold Coast on November 17.
(Inputs from Reuters)