Having Faf du Plessis in the squad is a good headache for South Africa to have ahead of the India ODI series starting March 12, feels head coach Mark Boucher.
du Plessis last played an ODI for South Africa in the 2019 World Cup and was rested for the recent home series against England and Australia. During this period, he also quit the captaincy and handed the reigns to Quinton de Kock.
The right-handed batsman captained the Proteas in a total of 112 international matches across all three formats since December 2012, when he led South Africa for the very first time against New Zealand in a T20I series.
He and Rassie van der Dussen were recalled to the ODI squad for the three-match series in India beginning March 12 in Dharamshala.
“It’s a good headache to have. Just him being around the squad will add a lot of value and experience as well. We will look at the conditions and then put together the combinations. Why you would want to have Faf is because he has done really well in those (Indian) conditions,” Boucher said during the team’s pre-departure press conference.
Boucher also said that du Plessis’ experience will help in India. “If you go to a place like India, you need to find a balance between youth and experience. I think Faf has done really well in ODI cricket for South Africa. The last time he played, he got a hundred. He knows the Indian conditions very well,” the former Proteas wicketkeeper said.
South Africa lost the T20 series 1-2 to Australia but blanked them 3-0 in the ODIs. “T20s are important this year given that we have the T20 World Cup. But in general, Proteas and Cricket South Africa (CSA) need to find ourselves growing. We have just beaten a very good team. We needed the confidence and it will certainly help,” Boucher said.
“India is going to be a tough test. Different conditions. A lot of guys haven’t played much cricket in India. What’s impressive is that the guys have responded to the messages we have sent out to them from batting and bowling perspectives,” he added.