Faf du Plessis names the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 favourites
Faf du Plessis also seemed to be wary of the media hype ahead of the tournament.
Updated - Jan 30, 2019 10:26 am
South African skipper Faf du Plessis named hosts England and two-time champions India as the favourites for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Post the World Cup 2015, England team has completely changed its style of play and has been playing some great cricket. Playing in the home conditions will definitely end up being a huge advantage to them.
Also, India has become an indomitable force in ODI cricket irrespective of the conditions. Considering their recent performances, they are surely one of the favourites in the tournament. However, Faf du Plessis seemed to be optimistic about South Africa’s chances too. He noted that his team will end the tournament with subdued expectations. Du Plessis believes that this will work to their advantage.
We will go with a little bit less pressure on us as a team
South Africa came extremely close to the title in the World Cup 2015. However, they were pipped out by New Zealand in the semi-final which resulted in yet another knockout exit. Since then, a few important players including AB de Villiers have retired and it is a young team now. Therefore, Faf du Plessis believes that the expectations won’t be high.
“We will go with a little bit less pressure on us as a team in terms of the expectation of winning it. It is pretty clear that England and India are the two favourites. We are a young group and the guys are just excited about the opportunity,” said the Proteas skipper as quoted by ARY Sports.
Faf du Plessis also seemed to be wary of the media hype ahead of the tournament. “We have gone to tournaments in the past where we have felt like we had the strongest team on paper, but cricket is not played on paper. When opponents look at us now, we are not the strongest team. But when a South Africa team goes to the World Cup, the chat in the media starts, even the opposition starts to chat!” he added.
The 34-year-old also said that it hurted after the exit in World Cup 2015. He said that the players shouldn’t put a lot of expectations and additional weights on their shoulders. Faf du Plessis wants his players to express themselves and play with a lot of freedom.