India v South Africa, World T20, semi-final April 3, 2014

Du Plessis ready to risk suspension

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Faf du Plessis, South Africa's captain, is prepared to risk being suspended for the World T20 final if it means overseeing victory against India. Du Plessis has twice been penalised for South Africa's slow over-rates in the tournament and was banned for their final group game against England, but said he would prioritise winning their semi-final above his own availability.

Du Plessis was not fit enough to lead in South Africa's opening World T20 game against Sri Lanka, with AB de Villiers captaining in his stead. He returned to take the reins for wins against New Zealand and Netherlands, both games resulting in close finishes, and on each occasion South Africa were deemed to have been two overs short.

"I'll always be on the side of looking at the situation in front of you now," du Plessis said when asked whether he would try to ensure South Africa kept time better. "You can't be playing or making decisions like it's in the future.

"When it comes to crunch time it's important that you take your time and make sure you and the bowler are very clear in your decision making, I feel that's the best way to go. With the conditions here maybe favouring spin a bit more, we can get some more overs out of JP and that will also make sure the over rate is a bit quicker."

In Chittagong, South Africa relied largely on their pace attack and Imran Tahir, although JP Duminy was also called upon. The dew caused problems for maintaining the over rate at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury and Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal was suspended for the same offence during the Super 10 stage.

Du Plessis' stance contrasts with a strategy employed by Sri Lanka at the last World T20, when Kumar Sangakkara assumed official captaincy duties in place of Mahela Jayawardene, who could have faced a suspension, for their final Super 8 match against England.

Tahir and Duminy are likely to be South Africa's main slow-bowling options against India, with du Plessis referring to their "best eleven". However, with the Mirpur surface likely to offer greater purchase for spinners, Aaron Phangiso could come into contention. Du Plessis indicated the women's semi-final between South Africa and England played beforehand would inform their thinking.

"That decision we'll make tomorrow," du Plessis said. "We've decided that because there's a game before us, the ladies are playing, so we'll assess how the wicket is playing. If there's excessive spin, we'll definitely look at that option and if it's a good wicket we'll pick our best eleven."

The difference between the surfaces in Chittagong and Dhaka has been a talking point during the tournament, with South Africa and Sri Lanka, the qualifiers from Group 1, having to make a swift adjustment to the new conditions. India's spinners have taken a stranglehold on the opposition during four comprehensive wins and although du Plessis did not want to overplay the advantage, he conceded South Africa would be underdogs again - a status further enhanced by their dismal record in knockout competition.

"It's a huge thing," du Plessis said. "Obviously the wicket has been playing completely different to Chittagong, we've played all our games there and India have played all their games here, so from a conditions point of view they're much more used to it than we are. We've put in some hard practice on really abrasive surfaces, making sure that we almost over practice, with the ball spinning too much, so we get used to the spin. I think the wicket won't be that bad, I think it's been playing quite decently. I watched the game the other night and it looked like a good cricket wicket."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sheru-sher on April 4, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Come on SA ... You can do it. Beat these overated dust bowl flat tract bullies . Let pace dominate . This spin bowling nonesense is killing cricket .

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    SA need at least 165 to make this match a little bit competitive. On the other hand, Indian top order has been milking bowlers for the most part of the tournament. If SA can get ride of top 3 quickly, that will be a real test for the mighty chasers.

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    It's all about ABD and Hashim Amla, if they played well SA will win otherwise it seems home run for India...

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    I hope india will win.....all the best to all the players...it is very difficult time for indian team and to prove their honesty....dhoni have to prove more.....india goooo....get the cup and make indian fans to...forget all the past....

  • 9ST9 on April 4, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    A LOT depends on AB , he has ample experience in these conditions having played in IPL and would know most of the Indian bowlers well. SA beat SL ( then #1 ranked team) on their own turf 2-1 a few months back.So they should draw some inspiration from that also.It's not impossible all they need is not to crack up. India won more of their games chasing. they did beat an abject Australian side batting first but I think SA are likelier to lose chasing, so that presents a very interesting situation. May the best team(SA) win.

  • PPMMSS on April 4, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    @swauzzie - No matter it's mud pitch or concrete pitch , IND will win today ... GO India GO.. Subcontinent need T20 Title.

  • keptalittlelow on April 4, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Come on SA you are Number 1! Beat the Indians they cant play Steyn, win a major title for your country.

  • on April 4, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    certainly india will win,if you go by the stats

  • Narkovian on April 4, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Du Plessis prepared to risk suspension? Am I missing something here ? Why not just nominate a Captain for the day, someone who is a more marginal player and would not be missed much if dropped. He doesn't have to do anything on the field. Gamesmanship? - yes. Punishmentsfor slow over rates should have more effective punishments. Like adding extra runs to opposition.. that would speed them up a bit !!

  • on April 4, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Play out Mishra and try and get atleast 20 runs off him by virtue of singles and dont give him a wicket. Absolutely no slogging against Mishra. Ashwin and Jadeja can easily be tamed.

  • sheru-sher on April 4, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Come on SA ... You can do it. Beat these overated dust bowl flat tract bullies . Let pace dominate . This spin bowling nonesense is killing cricket .

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    SA need at least 165 to make this match a little bit competitive. On the other hand, Indian top order has been milking bowlers for the most part of the tournament. If SA can get ride of top 3 quickly, that will be a real test for the mighty chasers.

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    It's all about ABD and Hashim Amla, if they played well SA will win otherwise it seems home run for India...

  • on April 4, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    I hope india will win.....all the best to all the players...it is very difficult time for indian team and to prove their honesty....dhoni have to prove more.....india goooo....get the cup and make indian fans to...forget all the past....

  • 9ST9 on April 4, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    A LOT depends on AB , he has ample experience in these conditions having played in IPL and would know most of the Indian bowlers well. SA beat SL ( then #1 ranked team) on their own turf 2-1 a few months back.So they should draw some inspiration from that also.It's not impossible all they need is not to crack up. India won more of their games chasing. they did beat an abject Australian side batting first but I think SA are likelier to lose chasing, so that presents a very interesting situation. May the best team(SA) win.

  • PPMMSS on April 4, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    @swauzzie - No matter it's mud pitch or concrete pitch , IND will win today ... GO India GO.. Subcontinent need T20 Title.

  • keptalittlelow on April 4, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Come on SA you are Number 1! Beat the Indians they cant play Steyn, win a major title for your country.

  • on April 4, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    certainly india will win,if you go by the stats

  • Narkovian on April 4, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Du Plessis prepared to risk suspension? Am I missing something here ? Why not just nominate a Captain for the day, someone who is a more marginal player and would not be missed much if dropped. He doesn't have to do anything on the field. Gamesmanship? - yes. Punishmentsfor slow over rates should have more effective punishments. Like adding extra runs to opposition.. that would speed them up a bit !!

  • on April 4, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Play out Mishra and try and get atleast 20 runs off him by virtue of singles and dont give him a wicket. Absolutely no slogging against Mishra. Ashwin and Jadeja can easily be tamed.

  • swauzzie on April 4, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    Come on SA! Beat both of these mud pitch bulliess & win a major titel! What could be better than beating Ind & SL on their own mud pitch!!! Go the Saffers

  • on April 4, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    The monetary penalties and penalties of suspension of the team captains are too little for the offense. Today/s cricketers earn so much that they are least bothered of a loss of a paltry thousand dollars. The penalties that were used to be levied earlier should be restored, i.e., either you add a specified number of runs per short bowled over to the guilty team if chasing and deduct a similar amount of runs if the team has batted first. Alternatively, The chasing team should be given a reduced number of overs bowled short. Only then this malady of short number of overs will stop.

  • on April 3, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    There is too much importance given to the pitch in cricket discussions. These are professional cricketers who should be able to play on all surfaces without excuses. A win is a win, even if its on the moon.

  • on April 3, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    Play Phangiso for Hendriks. Worth a go with the extra spinner! Make Phangiso captain.

  • on April 3, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    don't let mishra to settle...rest are too easy...

  • on April 3, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Well it is true that indian bowlers have bowled well but they have not bee subjected to dew which south African bowlers have continuously faced during their league matches which could prove to be vital...

  • on April 3, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    I don't think faf has to do all this to prove himself a good skipper... just hand over the reins to amla or AB for a game and its done... btw faf needs a look into his own form as well; I don't think he s had a great tournament ... so just stop complicating things SA

  • on April 3, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    INDIa will lose this is going to be the 1st major trophy for sa

  • rocknrola on April 3, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    @ cooljack_143. Really are you rating t20 over Tests ? Every team is strong in their own backyard. If SAF are fast track bullies then Indian team is spin track bully. We(Indians) made rank turners against England's last visit but we lost anyway. SAF is only team that did a better job on overseas pitches in past 8 years. We lost in Eng, Aus, SAF, NZ. Indian team is strong in t20 and these are slow pitches. So, there is a better chance India wins.

  • billycraven on April 3, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    If anybody had doubts about Faf being the wrong man for the job then the comment that he would risk suspension for the final should convince all. It shows his lack of knowledge of the game and let me also assure him that many would hope that he does not captain the side, AB did a great job the other night. The fact that he does not mind missing the final just goes to show how important he considers himself for the tea, zero because it makes not difference to him whether he plays in the final or not maybe he wants a rest before the IPL. He has made too many tactical errors as captain for him to retain his place as captain. AB for the job as long as he is not behind the wickets.

  • cooljack_143 on April 3, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    THIS IS T20 NOT TEST CRICKET my friend.will be A REVENGE AGAINST SA for Ind,for what they had done to them in SEAMING FRIENDLY PITCHES.SEAM TRACK BULLIES are SAF.They are lucky enough to not be in group with WI IND PAK OZ. DE-COCK is an OVERRATED batsmen in seaming pitches, in flat & spinning pitches we know how Pathetic his form is. But they are dark horses like Pak, you never know which side turns up very inconsistent side.Its time for Rohit & Raina to walk the talk with BAT to Dale steyn who was very upsetting in his Comments on Rohit,Rina & Yuvi in test series for saying he has more runs than them.Pathetic stuff from bowler.We all know waht happend when Kallis retired.Times to Tharsh Steyn down.I want Rahane in place of Dhawan & Mohit for Shami ahmed.This team can win.GL India!!!!!!

  • Rohit... on April 3, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    DuPlesis is a match winner...& so is the rest of the team... I always wanted SA to meet India in the final... Too bad this happened a bit sooner.

  • on April 3, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    either Hendricks or phangiso whoever plays should assume captaincy

  • on April 3, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Good luck tomorrow! You have to attack their spinners don't let them bog you down! If you can do that you can win

  • 10000000 on April 3, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Du plessis in not that effective in the game but he got few match winners around like hasim,ab,dale...

    Al the best dup.

  • wanatawu on April 3, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Wise decision good luck tomorrow.

  • venkatesh018 on April 3, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    The best S African XI for this semis would be: De Cock, Amla, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers, Duminy, Albie Morkel, Parnell, Tahir, Steyn, Morne Morkel and Hendricks.

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  • venkatesh018 on April 3, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    The best S African XI for this semis would be: De Cock, Amla, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers, Duminy, Albie Morkel, Parnell, Tahir, Steyn, Morne Morkel and Hendricks.

  • wanatawu on April 3, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Wise decision good luck tomorrow.

  • 10000000 on April 3, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Du plessis in not that effective in the game but he got few match winners around like hasim,ab,dale...

    Al the best dup.

  • on April 3, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Good luck tomorrow! You have to attack their spinners don't let them bog you down! If you can do that you can win

  • on April 3, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    either Hendricks or phangiso whoever plays should assume captaincy

  • Rohit... on April 3, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    DuPlesis is a match winner...& so is the rest of the team... I always wanted SA to meet India in the final... Too bad this happened a bit sooner.

  • cooljack_143 on April 3, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    THIS IS T20 NOT TEST CRICKET my friend.will be A REVENGE AGAINST SA for Ind,for what they had done to them in SEAMING FRIENDLY PITCHES.SEAM TRACK BULLIES are SAF.They are lucky enough to not be in group with WI IND PAK OZ. DE-COCK is an OVERRATED batsmen in seaming pitches, in flat & spinning pitches we know how Pathetic his form is. But they are dark horses like Pak, you never know which side turns up very inconsistent side.Its time for Rohit & Raina to walk the talk with BAT to Dale steyn who was very upsetting in his Comments on Rohit,Rina & Yuvi in test series for saying he has more runs than them.Pathetic stuff from bowler.We all know waht happend when Kallis retired.Times to Tharsh Steyn down.I want Rahane in place of Dhawan & Mohit for Shami ahmed.This team can win.GL India!!!!!!

  • billycraven on April 3, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    If anybody had doubts about Faf being the wrong man for the job then the comment that he would risk suspension for the final should convince all. It shows his lack of knowledge of the game and let me also assure him that many would hope that he does not captain the side, AB did a great job the other night. The fact that he does not mind missing the final just goes to show how important he considers himself for the tea, zero because it makes not difference to him whether he plays in the final or not maybe he wants a rest before the IPL. He has made too many tactical errors as captain for him to retain his place as captain. AB for the job as long as he is not behind the wickets.

  • rocknrola on April 3, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    @ cooljack_143. Really are you rating t20 over Tests ? Every team is strong in their own backyard. If SAF are fast track bullies then Indian team is spin track bully. We(Indians) made rank turners against England's last visit but we lost anyway. SAF is only team that did a better job on overseas pitches in past 8 years. We lost in Eng, Aus, SAF, NZ. Indian team is strong in t20 and these are slow pitches. So, there is a better chance India wins.

  • on April 3, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    INDIa will lose this is going to be the 1st major trophy for sa