Du Plessis: Batting the key for any potential number 7

The South African captain Faf du Plessis has given his clearest indication yet of what the requirements are for the all-rounder position.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - With the World Cup only six months away, the Proteas search for an all-rounder to fill the number seven batting position is far from finalised. They returned home from a successful tour of Australia, winning the ODI series 2-1 and the solitary T20i match.

The South African captain Faf du Plessis has given his clearest indication yet of what the requirements are for the all-rounder position.

“Number seven becomes 70% batting and 30% bowling. For me the important thing becomes runs, because you are playing in England World Cup and you might find yourself three down, so with a bowling all-rounder at seven you are potentially exposing yourself to something that can go wrong.”

South Africa took Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris as their all-rounder options and they all passed the bowling test, however, doubts remain about if either of the three is the answer with such short long tail end.

South Africa’s bowling quartet of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir is an envious grouping of talent and skill. Their ability to cause mayhem with the ball makes them almost automatic choices, but their inclusion shortens the Proteas batting line-up and the all-rounder role is one way to extend the batting.

Du Plessis added: “We know with our four bowlers attack that there is enough X-factor, but it is also a long tail. Therefore, the onus will always go on the strength of the all-rounder from a batting point of view. The all-rounders bowled well (in Australia), but from my perspective, that position is going to be important from a runs point of view. We're looking for the guys around the country that can score consistently the most runs.”

While Du Plessis feels South Africa’s best line-up is made up of seven batsmen and four bowlers, he is aware the squad must be adaptable at a World Cup.