Francois du Plessis, serving suspension, sat out the crucial final group match that South Africa won narrowly against England to book their place in the World T20 semifinals. The right-hander returns to lead the squad against India in their last-four match here on Friday. Excerpts from his media interaction.
On spin being the focus: It’s a huge thing. The wicket in Dhaka is completely different to Chittagong. We have played all our games there (Chittagong) and India have played all their games here. From a conditions point of view, they are much more used to them than we are and we have put in some really hard practice on really abrasive surfaces making sure that we almost over-practised against the ball that is turning too much. I think the wicket is not going to be too bad. I watched the game here recently and the wicket didn’t seem too bad and didn’t seem to spin that much.
On handling pressure: That’s something I must say India has done very well over the past few days. They have always been a team that does well in big tournaments. We played against them this year and we have been immensely successful against them and we’ll draw confidence from that. So both teams will be equally confident when it comes to the match tomorrow.
On if he thinks SA’s time has come (to win title): We felt a couple of times before when we felt this was our time. India are still regarded as one of the favourites and we have played pretty much through the whole tournament as underdogs. We have been playing very well as a team and we have had different guys performing in every single game, so we are not relying on someone.
On Phangiso coming in: That decision we will make tomorrow. We decided that because there is a game before us (ladies semis). We will assess how the wicket is playing and if it helps spin, we will definitely look at that option.
On Warne visiting SA’s nets: It wasn’t our decision. It was just, I think, Warne’s decision. He thought he wanted to come and bowl a bit. Obviously, it was nice to have him around as he has been such a fantastic bowler. We certainly didn’t request him to come. I wasn’t there when he was speaking with Tahir. But he has met him before. Obviously, they both have played for Hampshire.