South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis on Tuesday acknowledged the fact that it is normal to get distracted by the weekend’s IPL auctions as the cash-rich T20 tournament “plays a big part in their lives”.
The mega auctions of the IPL are going to take place on February 27 and 28 and those will be the last two days of the third and final Test between India and South Africa in Johannesburg. However, Dun Plessis said as long as they will be on the ground their focus would only be on the match.
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Ahead of the Johannesburg Test on Wednesday, Duplessis said, “Well we don’t have our phones, so it’s difficult to check (the auction). There will be distractions, and that is normal, it’s human. The IPL plays a big part in all of our lives.”
He further added, “For the management and myself, it’s important to make sure we keep the focus and the energy driving towards the Test match. And at the end of the day’s play, if we want to talk about the auction a little bit, we can do that but to make sure that the next day, when it’s Test match time again, we are switched on and focused.”
Du Plessis along with Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi, Dean Elgar and Vernon Philander are some of the South African players who will go under the hammer at this weekend’s IPL auctions.
When asked about the difference between India and South Africa in the ongoing Test series, Faf Du Plessis said, “The difference between India and us is that there are more batsmen contributing to partnerships. So that’s going to be once again very much a key factor in conditions like that. As a batsman, if you do get in, you try and string together a nice partnership.”
The series might be firmly in their pocket, but the Proteas skipper is expecting India to come hard in the final Test, he said, “I think once again, India will come back with a point to prove. They are a proud team they wouldn’t want to go down 3-0 so we’re expecting once again a good challenge from them. For us as a team, it’s pretty simple. Just keep doing the things that we’ve been doing right through the series and do it well.”
Despite the 0-2 scoreline, India look in good spirits going into the third Test and would be buoyed by the fact that they have never lost a Test at the Wanderers in four visits here. Talking about the same, Du Plessis said, “Amazing stat! If you had asked me if they’ve ever lost a game here, I’d definitely put something on it and say they’ve lost here. They’ve played some good cricket here. The last Test match we played against India here was a fantastic Test match. We have got a fantastic seam attack as well so it will be the battle between those two.”
Faf Du Plessis concluded by expressing that they will be looking to exploit India’s incompetent batting line-up again at the Wanderers. He said, “For me, it will be about keeping their batsmen under pressure. It’s been a pretty quiet series for most of them, and if we can keep doing that we will change that stat. They are a team that’s under pressure being 2-0 down in the series.”