Faf du Plessis (Gallo)
Cape Town – Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says the players are closer than ever as preparations for Thursday’s third Test against England in Port Elizabeth continue.
Du Plessis addressed media at St. Georges Park on Wednesday, confirming the possibility that Dane Paterson could earn his Test debut on Thursday.
As the Proteas continue to find their feet under the new leadership group of Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and head coach Mark Boucher, Du Plessis himself has been in the firing line this week with scores of 29, 20, 1 and 19 to his name in the series so far.
With Temba Bavuma having been dropped from the side for a lack of runs over 2019, Du Plessis was asked if he had paid any attention to comparisons made between the two players on social media.
“When you’ve played international cricket for as long as I have, you know that it comes with media for you and media against you,” Du Plessis said.
“Whether it is for or against, is important for any player not to get sucked into it too much.
“One of the differences between players who have been playing at this level for a short or long time is how, mentally, they can cope with the mental battle that comes with it.”
Du Plessis did acknowledge, though, that he needed to improve.
“I’m not getting into a battle with myself and Temba over who plays and who doesn’t. My performances also need to go up in terms of scoring runs,” he said.
“Temba has been put in a position where he needs to score runs to get back into the team and if he does that, he will.”
Du Plessis further stressed that the side was in a good place presently.
“I feel that we’re as close as we’ve been before. I feel there is a real direction and purpose for this team,” he said.
“The outside noise will always be there, not just in cricket.”
Thursday’s play gets underway at 10:00.
– Compiled by Lloyd Burnard