South Africa in UAE 2013-14 November 7, 2013

'Feel like a new man' - du Plessis

ESPNcricinfo staff

In a low-scoring series being played between teams who possess strong bowling line-ups, Faf du Plessis ended a woeful recent run with a fluent fifty in the third ODI on Wednesday. It laid the platform for South Africa to score a competitive 259, a total which proved to be too much for Pakistan, as South Africa eased to a 2-1 series lead.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers had plenty of batting concerns to deal with, having played without Hashim Amla in the first two ODIs, an out-of-form du Plessis and Colin Ingram and a struggling middle order against a quality spin attack. Du Plessis made 55 off 60, a half-century after 11 ODI innings, following a promotion to No. 3 in place of JP Duminy.

His last half-century came against Netherlands in May and the one prior to that was against New Zealand nearly 11 months ago. He couldn't convert the starts into big scores at home against Pakistan earlier this year and later in the Champions Trophy. In the five ODIs in Sri Lanka, he did not even get the starts, averaging 11.40 with a high score of 23.

"I feel like a new man," du Plessis said. "I was feeling the pressure. It was important for me to put a performance in. As a player, you always want to be affecting the result in a game.

"In these conditions, to lead them [Pakistan] 2-1 in the series is very important. But also we've got a slight bad habit in the last two years - when we've won one game and we lose the next one. So it's important for us to make sure the next game we can win the series and put the nail through the coffin."

De Villiers was also pleased with du Plessis' innings which helped the middle-order build a strong total. Du Plessis produced a 77-run stand with Quinton de Kock for the second wicket before Duminy and de Villiers steered the innings with scores of 64 and 34, respectively.

"He [du Plessis] was under pressure to perform and that's how big players perform," de Villiers said. "We want to come with the same kind of energy in the next match to win the series here itself in the next ODI."

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  • Nix on November 8, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Just to put things into perspective for the faf fans and also if faf reads this listen carefully. How can Faf be an fantastic player but we need to wrap him in bubble wrap and bring him in at 3 to accommodate him. Players like Amla, duminy and Ab can bat at 6 and for that matter anywhere in the lineup, but faf cant. Just goes to show you that this guy is not good. He will eventually fall out of favour. If you are good then you have to perform. Look at MIller, nobody is doing him favours, he has to come in down the order and face the spinners and the pressure and he is doing good, whereas struggling faf has to be bubble wrapped. Why??? we have go loads of other talented batsmen, time for faf to go back to the titans

  • Andrew on November 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    South Africa will win the series now ... Smith has gone ... hooray ... Ingram too ... Faf is a better No 3 the JP any day ... It is better for him to get in earlier than later ... there is too much pressure trying to get runs after a failed top order than to get runs as the top order ... Amla too should do better than 10 ...

  • Francois on November 8, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Great Faf, I remember after his centuries against the Aussies and NZ, I was wonder when this guy is gonna shut up and he was kept quiet for a few months. Now he has scored a 50 again and he start giving interviews like there is no tomorrow.I hope he score a duck in the next innings just to shut him up again.

  • Saul on November 8, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Faf is quality, he'll come through in the high pressure situations. I don't understand why he doesn't bowl more often though. He's now got the experience and looks better at the top of the order. funny thing about SA side at the moment is that there are so many talented guys waiting in the wings but this side is the best we can come up with. Parnell plays 2 great games and gets dropped.

  • Faizan on November 8, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    It is quite amazing how a player's approach changes when his batting number is changed. I think that like Du Plessis, Umar Akmal too can become an entirely different batsman if he bats at 3. Maybe Akmal might not perform in the first match after the change in number but 3 is the best spot for him. To find the right batting number for a batsman is as important as realizing that that batsman has potential to perform.

  • Duncan on November 7, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    @NixNixon Totally agree with you; 45 ODI's with an average of 27.52 I think it would be fair to say SA gave him a good run, perhaps he is just there as AB's buddy. He "feels like a new man after a 50?!?!" Elgar has only had 5 ODI's, why did he not get a decent run? Ingram after 3 ducks and 4 still has a better average at 32, FAF should have been sent home before this match.

  • J on November 7, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Faf is a fantastic player. Glad to see him promoted up to #3 in the ODI batting order. In the fact, the whole batting order looks much much better now. I also like that De Villiers and Duminy switch 4/5 keeping a left/right combination at the crease. Smart move!

  • Shayan on November 7, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    any out of form cricketer of universe should come to play against our team we are specialists in helping the cause of good cricket by bringing them in form

  • Nix on November 7, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Yea he might have scored a 50 but he still sucks. Since when is du plessis such an important batsmen for sa that not only have they stuck with him giving him chance after chance over a very average career, but also to move other more senior players like duminy and de villiers around in the line up to accommodate him. ?? Seriously don't understand that. Its like they are desperate to play him and for what reason. because he is ab's friend?? Really don't understand why he is getting such preferential treatment. There will not be a place for him in this line up with de kock soon to establish himself. Faf is standing in the way of other more talented players - Rosouw, elgar etc. Also, I have said this before and I will say this again, I want to see ryan mclaren in the test team at no 7 and faf out.

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