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Du Plessis happy with T20 Proteas squad

Faf du Plessis says there’s positive energy in the team ahead of their game against New Zealand.

Faf du Plessis says there’s positive energy in the team ahead of their game against New Zealand.

JOHANNESBURG - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis on Thursday praised his team mates' work ethic ahead of Friday's opening Twenty20 against New Zealand.

Du Plessis is captaining the side for three T20 internationals against New Zealand in December, after AB de Villiers opted to be withdrawn.

Du Plessis said the energy at training sessions was excellent.

"It's been going very well. It's probably the two hardest training sessions I've had in my life. It's a nice young squad which comes with a lot of energy so it's good."

Although there are numerous big stars missing in the Black Caps line-up, Du Plessis said the Proteas should not underestimate New Zealand.

"I definitely learnt the hard way that you can't underestimate any opposition, especially in Twenty20 matches.

"It's going to be a hard-fought international battle."

He said rankings would play no part in this series.

"The Kiwis are very competitive; luckily I've got a couple of series against them now, so we can share that knowledge with the younger guys.

"They are a very competitive team, so we expect a very tough series."

Du Plessis says he was excited to see what Quinton de Kock could do on the international stage.

"He's an exciting young guy and he has done well in the Champions League recently so we're hoping he can bring that form to the side. He's a very good talent so we'll see what he can bring to the team."

Meanwhile, New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the three-match series after sustaining a thumb injury.

The first match gets underway at 6.00pm at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.

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