Proteas captain Faf is learning important lessons ahead of the World Cup

Faf du Plessis captain of South Africa during the 4th Momentum One Day International between South Africa and Pakistan at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Faf du Plessis captain of South Africa during the 4th Momentum One Day International between South Africa and Pakistan at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis said the current Pakistan ODI series is providing him with lessons that could be crucial at the World Cup.

One such lesson was their eight-wicket defeat in Sunday's fourth ODI against Pakistan at the Wanderers where South Africa surrendered their proud “Pink Day” record in the meekest manner possible.

It was their first “Pink Day” ODI loss in eight matches at the Wanderers.

They were 119/2 but subsided to 164 all out on the back of a terminal batting collapse that saw them lose 8/45 in 15.1 overs.

“I'm learning a number of lessons and things are becoming clear to me in terms of the balance of our batting line-up in terms of the people who are missing and those we have in the team. I assume the younger guys are getting a lot of experience but even after the result‚ I have clarity in terms of use moving forward as a team‚” Du Plessis said.

South Africa have battled to put together complete performances in the series so far.

In the first game in Port Elizabeth‚ South Africa batted solidly but without much enterprise and their total was easily chased down.

In Durban‚ they bowled well but needed Rassie van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo to rescue them from the depths of 80/5 before the win was delivered through a ground record partnership of 127*.

South Africa's fielding went to pieces at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday night and that allowed Pakistan to score 317/6 before rain and timed acceleration allowed them to get past the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern permutation post.

Their luck ran out at the Wanderers but Du Plessis said their inconsistency has been brought about by the changes they've been making to the team on a regular basis.

“It's normal with the fact that we have a lot of new guys coming in so in games where we felt we didn't bowl as well as we wanted to‚ there are new guys coming in and the same applies with the batting. You only get better by doing things wrong in a situation and try to improve from that.

“That's how you learn in international cricket. We've had one or two departments that have been inconsistent and I won't say it's a concern but an area of improvement‚” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis though admitted that Pakistan have been the better side in the series but Wednesday's decider in Cape Town are the kind of games they want to take part in ahead of the World Cup.

The series is tied at two games each

“Pakistan are playing better cricket than us and from a consistency view‚ their bowling attack is pretty much on the mark and we know that if we don't strike early in their batting line-up‚ they've had an opener batting through the innings in most games. It keeps their batting blueprint together and that's what we need to do‚” Du Plessis said.

“When we were in Australia‚ it was 1-all in the series and it was a big game and we wanted to make sure that it was almost like a knock-out game for us. We want to make sure that we get better at those games; the games where if you lose‚ you're out and that's the same thing with the last game in Cape Town. Its 2-all and if you lose‚ you lose the series. It's a nice pressure for us to go through as a team.”

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