South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has called on his team to put the foot on the gas.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has called on his team to put the foot on the gas.

Du Plessis ready to finish off Aussies

SOUTH Africa captain Faf du Plessis wants to kick Australia's one-day side while it's down.

But du Plessis says he takes no pleasure from the turmoil engulfing cricket in Australia ahead of Friday's one-dayer in Adelaide (2:20pm EDT).

"It's never nice when it carries on for so long," du Plessis told reporters on Thursday. "I think everyone in their camp would just like to start afresh now and make sure they can focus on the cricket."

But du Plessis makes no apology for a ruthless on-field approach, saying the Proteas must grasp a chance to sink the proverbial boot into Australia.

"I believe you have to," he said. "...If you do get an opportunity against Australia where you can put your foot on the gas, it's really important to try and do that because it's not often you get those opportunities."

Du Plessis' South Africans dished out Australia's seventh consecutive one-day loss in the series opener in Perth last Sunday, coasting to a six-wicket win. And he said things had turned full circle in Australia's line-up since South Africa's 5-0 sweep of a one-day series in September 2016.

Back then, the Australians fielded a side weakened by the absence of strike bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

Now, Australia is turning out a side weakened by the suspensions of batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner.

"Obviously from a results point of view, there is a bit of pressure on their batting line-up to score runs," du Plessis said.

"The two batters that they have lost in Smith and Warner is huge for them.

"We always felt in the past when we played them, if you get those two cheaply that you could put real pressure on the rest of the batting line-up, so therefore they do leave big holes."

But du Plessis declined to comment on whether the bans on Smith and Warner, for ball tampering during a Test against the Proteas, should be lifted.

"Initially when it happened, we thought that it was harsh on the players because there have been so many players that have been in similar boats," he said. "But it's difficult for me to comment, it's because I'm a South African, I'm not Australian.

"I wasn't here to understand how the people were affected by it or offended by it.

"The backlash that we saw in South Africa was massive. So we could see that obviously it's probably bigger in Australia than what it has been or will be anywhere else in the world.

"For me to comment on whether or not they be banned, I don't think it's my place."

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