Du Plessis heaps praise on KG after series win
ON a day South Africa were forced to bid farewell to two current Proteaswho have placed financial security ahead of national pride, captain Faf du Plessis, could not heap enough praise on the future of the game in this country.
Kagiso Rabada is certainly the torchbearer of everything that is good about cricket in the Rainbow Nation at the moment and his virtuoso performance at Newlands yesterday certainly lightened the mood in a camp that has been hard hit by the departure of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw.
The fact that he is only 21 and bowling the Proteas to series victories – like he did yesterday – with a second career 10-wicket match haul ensured Du Plessis could at least focus somewhat on what transpired over a glorious four days at Newlands.
“It was an amazing bowling performance from KG. Even when he’s bowling not so well, as a captain I’m really happy to have him in my team. He just tries very hard and he’s never got any dramas,” Du Plessis said after Rabada bagged 6/55 to bowl the Proteas to a comprehensive 282 run victory.
“Basically he’s the perfect bowler for a captain because, exactly what I tell him to do or ask him to do, he does that.
“If I want him to bowl a thousand short balls in a row he’ll do it. That’s the kind of bowler he is and that works well with me because I can work on a plan with him.
“He’s an extreme talent for us and he’s going to be very valuable for us in future.”
With Abbott now set to run in for Hampshire instead of the Proteas, Du Plessis will be requiring even more from his colt especially with the uncapped Knights fast bowler Duanne Olivier being called up for the third and final Test at the Wanderers.
Du Plessis is a great advocate of having an experienced seam attack at his disposal in Test cricket and is hoping Rabada continues in the same vain he has for the past 13 Tests.
“It’s important in a Test attack that you have really consistent guys. KG can do both – he’s got pace and control. Test cricket is about controlling the game, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing with Kyle and Vernon (Philander). They control the run-rate. Whoever the next guy is it’s going to be important that he can control the game.
“For me it’s about making sure we look at who’s the next guy to fulfil that role and try to get them ready. With experience that we have in Vernon and KG and hopefully Morne and Dale (Steyn) – if they don’t miss too much – start bringing in a guy to get them working with great bowlers, getting them ready for when their chance comes.”
Du Plessis, though, stressed “it’s time to move on” and that the importance of the series victory over the Sri Lankans should not be taken be granted as the Newlands triumph “was pretty much a perfect performance”.
“The plan was to be a little bit better than we were in PE, and we were. For an opening batsman to get a hundred on a wicket like that was great batting, and there was great bowling from our bowlers. From then we were in a dominant position,” said Du Plessis.
“It was pretty much a perfect performance. Everything was planned and everything worked out perfectly. We felt that we could take it at lunch on day four in a perfect world and it worked out exactly like that. We were relentless. We didn’t let Sri Lanka into the game once. Every time we stood up and that was the most pleasing thing for me as a captain.”