Du Plessis says it's time for SA to 'build ourselves as a team to be great again'

Last Modified Tuesday, 10 December 2019 (12:36 IST)
Cape Town:Following his team's recent struggles on the field, captain wants cricket to be the primary focus, ahead of the home series against England.
South Africa, under du Plessis, have endured one of their toughest phases in 2019. They were the second team to be knocked out of the semi-final contention during the round robin stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019. They have lost five of their seven Tests this year, including each of their first three in the ICC World Test Championship, against India in October,after being whitewashed 2-0 by Sri Lanka at home at the start of the year.
 
With a restructuring of the Cricket South Africa board also expected, du Plessis wants his team to keep its focus on what happens on the field, an ICC report on Monday said."There's not much time before the English series, so now it's about putting our focus back on to the team, making sure that the Test team gets all the things that are required for us to be successful," du Plessis said.
 
"It's been a little bit on pause the last two or three weeks, which is already too late, so we need to make sure in the next week, things will start unfolding to make sure the Test team gets the most attention. The last two weeks, there hasn't been much attention on that, so that is what we will try and drive over the next week," he said.
   
South Africa host England for a four-Test series, the first of which will be played at Centurion's Super Sport Park from December 26, followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is. They are currently placed at the bottom of the ICC World Test Championship Standings, and with their next assignment coming against a higher-ranked team, du Plessis wants South Africa to build themselves up to push for serious contention again.
 
"The attention needs to be on the cricket," the skipper said, "and making sure we will build ourselves as a team and ourselves as an organisation to be great again."(UNI)