Whilst Virat Kohli racked up another double hundred against Bangladesh, I found it interesting to read a piece on ESPN Cricinfo comparing David Warner and Faf du Plessis.
The piece states that since January 2014, du Plessis has amassed 2621 runs at an average of 58.24 striking the ball at a rate of 90.25. Only his long time friend and team mate, AB de Villiers. Alongside this, he has amassed 2435 of these runs whilst batting at number three in ODI’s ranking second to New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.
It is easy to look past du Plessis’ credentials as a one day batter. Alas, he made his name as a test match blocker, famously batting 466 minutes and 376 balls in order to save a test match against Australia in Adelaide, 2012. What many people fail to see is the all round game du Plessis possess especially in a one day side featuring Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers as well as the lower order prowess of David Miller.
Yes, it is a fact that in his first 45 innings as an ODI cricketer, du Plessis did not score a 100 and averaged 27.55 but his last 52 innings have certainly proved him has a proper cricketer and he surely deserves to be ranked among the best in the world in the one day arena.
With their batting coming to the fore this close to the Champions Trophy, all the South Africans need to find is the right bowling formula and they could well cause unexpected problems at this summer’s Champions Trophy. It would be no surprise to see du Plessis near the top of the run charts for this tournament.
It was interesting to watch the contrast in batting approaches across the international cricket matches on view today.
At one end of the scale we saw England lose eight wickets and score eight runs inside nineteen deliveries too lose the third T20 international by 75 runs. At the other end of the scale we saw Faf du Plessis and David Miller put together a one hundred and seventeen run partnership to propel South Africa from 108-4 too 225-5, which laid the foundation for a total of 307-6.
Although the new brand of one day cricket is to be attacking and exciting at all times and to try and score as many runs as you can whilst taking as little time as possible to get yourself in, the question begs to be asked that has the art of digging in gone away from limited overs cricket?
When an Australia or a New Zealand or even this young, dynamic England side come out all guns blazing and put close to four-hundred on the board in limited overs cricket, it all looks very good for the game. The worrying thing is when it doesn’t come off which has become regular on pitches that should not cause as many problems as they are causing. The application of batting is a lot to be desired across International cricket and to see du Plessis and Miller apply it today was very refreshing.
Of course, there is always a time and a place to play a certain way and no player should ever delve away from their natural game but sometimes it is okay to bide your time in One-Day cricket, and just catch up later. You never know a hundred struck at under a run a ball in a one day innings could still be the innings that wins the game for the team.