T20 series: Faf du Plessis says South Africa remain wary of Pakistan
Last Updated: 12/11/13 5:03pm
Captains Mohammad Hafeez (left) and Faf du Plessis (right) pose ahead of the Twenty20 series between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai
South Africa's Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis expects Pakistan to provide stern opposition despite suffering a comprehensive 4-1 defeat in the recently completed one-day international series.
The tourists head into the two-match T20 series on a high after they overcame defeat in the opening ODI to win the remaining four fixtures.
Pakistan collapsed to a 117-run loss in the final match, yet Du Plessis insists South Africa cannot afford to rest on their laurels at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday and Friday.
"Pakistan are a dangerous T20 team," Du Plessis said. "They have a lot of match-winners, that's what T20 cricket is about.
"They (Pakistan) have the danger-men that can come in and score 80 off a few balls or run in and take four quick wickets. We are going to have to play really well to beat them."
Faf du Plessis
"They have the danger-men that can come in and score 80 off a few balls or run in and take four quick wickets. We are going to have to play really well to beat them."
The 29-year-old did concede their success in the 50-over format gives South Africa an added boost.
"It's nice for us as a team to go into this series with some momentum behind us," Du Plessis added.
"We understand that it's a new competition but it always helps going into a tournament with some confidence from beating a side."
Opening batsman Henry Davids, spinner Aaron Phangiso and all-rounder David Wiese are the only three players coming into South Africa's squad who were not included for their success in the 50-over format.
With the conditions in the United Arab Emirates expected to be similar to those of Bangladesh, where next year's ICC World Twenty20 is being held, this week's opportunities represent an excellent opportunity for South Africa fringe players to make their mark.
"The World Cup is going to be in the subcontinent so we will have similar conditions, so we will be playing a team as close to what we will be playing in the World Cup," Du Plessis said.
"We have a core of 15 players and we are still fiddling with combinations. We want to make sure that by the time the World Cup comes we have settled on the best combinations."
Pakistan's T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez is likely to open the batting in order to give his side some much-needed experience at the top of the order, while Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq are pushing for recalls.
Pakistan, who play their home matches in the Middle East due to the security situation at home, may be slight favourites having won their last five T20 matches.
There is no respite for the two sides, however, as they travel to South Africa to play an additional T20 series in Johannesburg next week.