Pressure on England, says South Africa skipper du Plessis
March 17 2016 09:11 PM
South Africa’s skipper Faf du Plessis (left) and star batsman AB de Villiers talk to each other during a practice session at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday. (AFP)


South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis says England will feel added pressure to avoid a second defeat at the World Twenty20 when the two sides clash in Mumbai today. England are in need of a win after losing their opening match while the Proteas want to get their bid for a first international trophy off to a strong start. Captain Eoin Morgan’s England side were blown away by a Chris Gayle century at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday night as the West Indies won by six wickets.
“I think there’s a little bit more pressure on the team that’s lost their first game,” du Plessis said during his pre-match press conference yesterday. “If we were in their shoes and lost the first game you would feel that pressure going into the second game because you know if you lose you’re possibly going to be out,” he added.
For South Africa the night match marks the start of their quest to once and for all remove the chokers tag that du Plessis admits has become “a monkey on the back” of their team.
Since their readmission in 1991 after the apartheid era ban, the Proteas have been the nearly men of world cups in both T20 and 50 over cricket, falling agonisingly short of the final on several occasions.
Despite their failure to win a major trophy, South Africa are one of the tournament favourites and are currently in third place in the T20 world rankings.
They boast a formidable batting line-up that includes the captain himself, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock and du Plessis said confidence was high going into the Super 10 Group 1 match.  “For me our whole batting line up looks they’re in form so that’s a dangerous sign for the opposition,” the 31-year-old warned.
England’s Morgan will be looking for more from his batsmen after they fell short of his target of 200, finishing on 182 for six, and from his bowling attack who he said performed at around 80-90 percent.
The English skipper rued losing the toss to West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who opted to field, and Morgan feels the game of chance will again play a big part on Friday in Mumbai’s humid conditions. “Even at the toss I said I was going to chase so it could be a big part for me in the South Africa game,” he said.
The captain said before the tournament that he would use all 15 squad members at his disposal, and replacing David Willey with powerful fast bowler Liam Plunkett is a likely switch for Friday’s do-or-die contest.
Morgan said he treated every match as “a must-win game” and the next encounter is no different as a second defeat would all but end England’s chances of progressing to the semi-finals.

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