One eye on the present and the other on the future, says SA captain Faf du Plessis

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One eye on the present and the other on the future, says SA captain Faf du Plessis

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SportsCafe Desk

01/31/2018

Faf du Plessis looks to hand opportunities to youngsters in the limited-overs series which is set to start tomorrow as the team prepares for the ICC World Cup 2019. Du Plessis has also admitted that the Indian seamers will pose a huge threat in the ODI series after an impressive display thus far.

After a convincing 2-1 victory in the Test series against the Indians, hosts South Africa will look to dominate the visitors in the upcoming six-match ODI series which is scheduled to begin tomorrow. The Indians have never won a bilateral series in the African continent and will continue to battle it out tomorrow in a quest to win the series. However, SA skipper Faf du Plessis was quick to point out that the team has been undergoing a transition process at the moment as they were planning for the future and as a result, youngsters will be given a chance to prove their mettle as the coach will look to experiment with the starting line-up.

"I think our mindset has changed. We have always been focussed on the now, and when you get to the big tournament, 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 a bigger step into the future where every conversation we have as a selection panel, captain or coach, is about how we could have a look at more players," du Plessis said ahead of the series on Wednesday.

"Personally I haven't been involved in a vision like that. 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 opportunities. 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 don't just hope that your eleven is settled." the skipper said, reported Cricbuzz.

Batsmen Aiden Markram and Khaya Zondo and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi are three inexperienced players who will be granted opportunities against India. With the news of AB de Villiers injury breaking yesterday, the opportunity for Markram to be involved in the team popped up and du Plessis also confirmed the news.

"AB is not playing this game so Aiden Markram is coming into his place, giving him an opportunity to bat in different places in the batting order because I feel it's a great way to evolve your own game and learn in difficult situations and times in ODI cricket, So that will be a nice learning curve for him and hopefully it will yield some good runs for us," du Plessis said.

Eight of the 14 players in South Africa's squad were involved in the Test series against India, and du Plessis admitted that they are feeling the after-effects of an intense contest. But he expects an intense fightback from the visitors, especially the seamers who impressed the South African with their consistent displays in the Test series.

"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 South African player concluded. 

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