South Africa leave for Bangladesh and the ICC World T20 on Saturday and will enter the tournament with little expectation judging by their recent form.
“Having guys in form will be really important if we’re going to do well in the T20 World Cup. If people aren’t on top of their game then we’ll definitely look at other options, nobody is a certainty,” Du Plessis told a press conference after the match.
Neither Dale Steyn nor Morne Morkel played in the T20 series against Australia and their stand-ins – the likes of Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks – were unable to reproduce their domestic form against what Du Plessis described as “a powerhouse batting line-up”.
“Our bowlers made a lot of mistakes tonight – we bowled the wrong lines and lengths, but defending less than 130 makes it difficult for the bowlers. I wanted them to bowl as straight as possible, but there was way too much square-of-the-wicket strokeplay. But having Dale and Morne back will be a huge bonus,” Du Plessis admitted.
The captain also conceded that both the batting and fielding had not been up to scratch on Friday night.
“We made a lot of mistakes with the bat and we didn’t lay a good base for our big hitters; David Miller and Albie Morkel need to come in when we’re on top. The pitch was quite tough for the first six overs, but we need to adapt and getting out caught like we did was soft dismissals. It sums up our batting effort and nine times out of 10 you’re not going to win games with soft dismissals,” Du Plessis said.
South Africa have also been the international benchmark in terms of fielding, but since the departure of Rob Walter as the fielding coach, they have often looked lethargic and have not taken several crucial catches through the summer.
The one positive from the heavy defeat was the bowling of leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who took two for 21 in his four overs and showed that he certainly won’t be one of the passengers in Bangladesh.
“Imran bowled really well, which is a really good sign for us. He’s going to play a huge part in our success in the T20 World Cup, on those pitches, in those conditions,” Du Plessis acknowledged.