Proteas chasing series whitewash


Du Plessis, who led the Proteas to a historic 5-0 ODI whitewash over the Aussies at home prior to this tour too, now wants the ultimate prize. Australia have never in its history been whitewashed in a Test series at home.

“That's the mission for us now. We want to do that very badly," said du Plessis. "We won't just rest on our laurels and be happy with 2-1 and even 2-0. We've got Australia in a position where they're under pressure and won't let that go. It's hard enough to get them in this position so we'll do everything we can to keep them there.

“To do it in the one-dayers and beat them 5-0 (was special) but to come here‚ we as a team know that’s an extremely hard challenge to come here and beat a really good team. They’ve got a full strength team; there’s no injuries. So to come here and do what we’ve done is right up there‚ certainly in my career."

Although South Africa have now won three successive series here in Australia, there is still a generation back home that vividly remembers the thrashings previous Proteas teams regularly received Down Under.

Du Plessis believes the current successes will hopefully go a long way in instilling the belief that future South African generations can also come here and win.

"We watched on TV for so many years how hard it was for South Africa to come here and do well," he said.

"I suppose the younger guys that are looking from back here right now can see that it's possible, coming here and to an extent dominating an Australian team. This is something that we'll remember forever as a team and that's exactly what we came here to do."

South Africa will look to complete their objective in their first day-night Test in Adelaide next week. They will prepare with a warm-up match against a Victoria XI in Melbourne over the weekend.

The mood in the camp is certainly brighter than their Australian counterparts, who face a national enquiry after the poor performances in the opening two Tests of the summer.

Du Plessis certainly believes the Aussies are ripe for the picking at the moment.

"When you are a team that's under the pump and under pressure and not playing as well as you like, confidence will fade away," he said. "It's hard to fake it. We didn't give them the opportunity to do it [assert themselves over a long period of time]. It was important to keep the important guys in the team quiet - David Warner and Steve Smith. If you can put a lot of pressure on them, the younger guys won't have that same punch.

"We made sure those guys have been relatively quiet in the series. Even guys like [Mitchell] Starc, he bowled well in that one spell but if you are on top, that's when you get a five-for and you clean the tail up. We were just really good in making sure we stopped that."

A Cricket South Africa contingent will be flying out to Adelaide next week to share the historic occasion with the Proteas and also to celebrate what has been an amazing tour thus far. With all the off-field activities undoubtedly set to increase in the build-up to third Test, Du Plessis though wants his team to remain focused on creating a legacy.

"It's important to stay with it and stay nice and humble and don't think the world has changed now that we have won a few series," Du Plessis said. "It can't be something you pay lip service to. We want to keep working hard and making sure we can get better. We want to go special places."

Independent Media

Having clinched the Test series, Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis now wants the ultimate prize - a Test series whitewash against Australia, on their own soil.

Original source: Proteas chasing series whitewash