Du Plessis heaps praise on KG af­ter se­ries win

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS

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.”

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