Proteas close to finalising their 2019 Cricket World Cup squad‚ says captain Faf du Plessis

24 October 2018 - 10:31 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images/Getty Images

SA captain Faf du Plessis says the team's management are not too far from settling on a side that will represent the nation at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England next year.

Coach Ottis Gibson has been trying out new players in the last few months and the outgoing limited overs series against Australia is another opportunity for the technical team to try out a few combinations.

“I would say we are about 85% to the team that we will be taking to the World Cup‚” said Du Plessis.

“We have an idea of the kind of players that we want to take to the World Cup.

"We have said it in the past that we want to start identifying players and we are using current games at our disposal to see what exactly brings the best out of them.

"Unfortunately‚ we have had injuries to key players like JP Duminy and Hashim Amla.

"But at the same time we have guys like Chris Morris‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Farhaan Behardien coming back to the team‚ which is a huge opportunity for them.”

The unavailability of Amla and Duminy means that Gibson will have to make changes to the top order with Aiden Markram expected to open the batting with Quinton de Kock against Australia in the three match ODI series.

But questions remain about Markram’s future with the ODI side in the long term if Amla and Duminy are fit and available to play.

“His role has changed because when he came into the team AB de Villiers was still playing at number four‚” he said.

“Now it looks like the best position suited for him would be in the top three and that would be if space is available.

"Obviously with Quinton and Hash (Amla) playing‚ those two positions take care of themselves and then there is a possibility of playing at three if that spot is available.

"There is the other guy (himself) who plays at number three and I have said it to the coach that three is a position that I enjoy.

"But I do see where he is coming from by wanting me to play at number four.

“Number four is a versatile position and we have agreed that we will give it a go until the Sri Lanka series to see what works best.

"If it means I bat there for the rest of the season‚ we will see what works for the team.

"But I will go where ever I am wanted because I have batted up and down on the line up in the past.”