Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“We’ve set a goal for ourselves to try and get to number one by the time the tournament starts”
South Africa Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has announced that the Proteas are aiming to be the number one ranked Twenty20 team prior to the start of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March 2014.
Du Plessis has also called on his side to perform to the best of their ability and avoid choking in the super eights stage, like they did in the 2012 edition of the tournament.
“We’ve set a goal for ourselves to try and get to number one by the time the tournament starts,” du Plessis said. “Then you have the confidence and momentum in your side.
“I don’t expect us to compete in a tournament if we’re ranked number five or six. That means you are inconsistent. If you get to number one it means there’s a lot of consistency in your side.”
South Africa are currently fifth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 team rankings, but if they were to beat Pakistan in their next Twenty20 encounter, they would not only win the series 2-0, but jump up to second place on the rankings as well.
Du Plessis also praised 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock for his spectacular performances in both the ODI and ongoing Twenty20 series.
“He’s making sure he’s batting for long periods of time and affecting the game,” du Plessis said. “He’s confident in the team and his whole game has improved. He’s much more comfortable in the group.”
Du Plessis was also impressed at the dramatic improvement in South Africa’s batting department following scores of 183 and 143 in the first two ODIs.
“In the first two one-dayers, our batting wasn’t gelling and we were giving away too many wickets and not batting with too much structure and gameplan,” he said. “Now we’re doing that really well.”
The 29-year-old finished off by saying that South Africa were on the “right path” to becoming the number one ranked Twenty20 nation.
“If you understand your roles, you will be the best you can be,” du Plessis said. “In T20s, we’re on the right path.”