Sport

Faf du Plessis speaks about last-minute phone call from AB de Villiers

Faf du Plessis speaks about last-minute phone call from AB de Villiers”

South Africa would look to avoid their fourth consecutive loss of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup as they take on West Indies for the 15th match of the tournament, to be played at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.

The revelation last week that the star batsman made a last-minute offer to come out of global retirement reportedly unsettled a team that had already lost its first three games.

De Villiers had called it quits from global cricket in May 2018, claiming that he was "tired and running out of gas".

AB de Villiers plays a candid shot. "I spoke to the coach and selectors the next day, and we all agreed it was too late to change the team".

Another washout would scupper those slim last-four chances, with the Proteas still staring down the barrel of their worst World Cup performance. He said de Villiers made the request to him on a phone-call when both of them were in India playing in the recent IPL.

"I feel like we are batting well but we just haven't done it long enough". He played 228 one-day internationals for South Africa, scoring 25 centuries and amassing nearly 9,577 runs at an average of 53.50.

Faf Du Plessis hopes the controversy over AB De Villiers´ attempt to come out of retirement for the World Cup can fuel his side´s bid to rescue their spluttering campaign.

He's still playing the Twenty20 format in the Indian Premier League, but hadn't played a one-day global since February 2018.

Du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson took the idea of de Villiers returning to the selection committee, but head selector Linda Zondi said it was rejected in fairness to the players who had already been picked. "Didn't have a huge impact", he said.

"There was a discussion on clarity and making sure everyone knows what´s going on".

"The team was happy to get on with business", he added. "But it is stuff like that generally you feel like it can make you, give you direction in your team and give you goal to focus on what lies ahead".

With minnows Afghanistan next on the schedule in Cardiff on Saturday, Benkenstein says South Africa's players must learn how to prepare for the challenge on playing different opponents in each match.

Before rain halted play after just 7.3 overs against the West Indies, South Africa were struggling on 29-2, with Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram back in the shed in single figures.



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