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Faf du Plessis impressed by Andile Phehlukwayo’s batting abilities

"It's great to see."

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Captain of the South Africa team, Faf du Plessis has come out with rich praises for all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo after his display in the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Phehlukwayo scored 38 not out off just 15 balls (5×4, 1×6) as South Africa posted 331/5 from their 50 overs. If he continues his form through the tournament, he might be South Africa’s first-choice all-rounder at this year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

The 23-year-old’s bowling has never been questioned, but it was his batting, which, until recently, was not too impressive to warrant him as an all-rounder. But a recent run of good scores has come at a good time, just three months ahead of the World Cup. Scores of 69, 67 and 68 were Phehlukwayo’s last three knocks for the Dolphins in the domestic One-Day Cup.

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Speaking of Phehlukwayo’s hitting display on Sunday, Du Plessis was clearly impressed. “Brilliant. It was power hitting, but there was a lot of smart cricket through that as well,” the skipper was quoted as saying in Sport24. “The way that Andi (Phehlukwayo) was sitting back and expecting Malinga to bowl slower balls and not trying to just hit sixes, using the angles and looking at the field, it shows that his game is evolved, and he has grown into a better cricketer. It’s great to see,” he added.

A smooth ODI career so far

In September 2016, at the age of 20, Phehlukwayo was named in South Africa’s ODI squad for home series against Ireland and Australia. He impressed one and all as he was the top wicket-taker for South Africa in that series against the Aussies. Ever since the youngster has been one of the best finds in the bowling department for the South Africans

In 41 ODIs, he has 51 wickets at an economy of 5.67. With the bat, he has scored 416 ODI runs. Phehlukwayo has been retained in South Africa’s 15-man squad for the final two ODIs against Sri Lanka.

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