All-rounder’s spot for World Cup remains a concern, says South Africa captain Faf du Plessis

Dubai: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has said that the team is more or less sorted for the upcoming 2019 World Cup, but the all-rounder’s spot remains a concern.

Following the dropping of an injured JP Duminy, du Plessis is hopeful that one among Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Chris Morris, and Dwaine Pretorius will cement his position in the team.

“It is an answer that I am hoping to give to you after this series,” ICC quoted du Plessis on Friday when he asked about who can claim the all-rounder’s spot.

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“We are hoping that over the next 10 games, over the Sri Lanka series as well, all the all-rounders that are there in Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius, that you will at least have one or two of those guys who really put their hand up and shout to the selectors ‘pick me’,” he added.
Ahead of the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, the captain said that he is still trying to find a balance in his team.

“Pakistan are a very good one-day side and probably they would be the first to say that from a performance point of view, their one-day team is much stronger. We are a one-day side that is still trying to find that balance in our team,” he said.

South Africa have rested experienced cricketers Dale Steyn and Quinny de Kock for the first two ODIs, while pacer Lungi Ngidi has been ruled out after sustaining an injury. In their replacement, the Proteas have drafted top-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen and right-arm seamer Duanne Olivier.

“With Quinny de Kock and Dale Steyn not here in the first two games, it actually gives us an opportunity to look at what else we need to look at, which is important. There is a lot of competition for the batters.

There are a lot of options available. And then he (van der Dussen) had a great Mzansi Super League. He has been knocking on the door very hard, so it is a great time for him to get an opportunity after all the runs he has scored,” he said.

“We are always looking at X-factor players in our bowling attack. So Lungi, Dale and KG Rabada are fantastic seamers and they pick themselves, but possibly as one back-up extra seamer, we have got some nice pace bowlers in our country. Duanne Olivier is one,” du Plessis added on the bowling unit.

South Africa and Pakistan will lock horns for five-match ODIs, starting on January 19 at Port Elizabeth. The series will be followed by three-match T20Is on February 1.


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