Du Plessis appreciating life at number three

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Batsman Faf du Plessis is looking forward to cementing the number three position, come South Africa's second ODI against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

Batsman Faf du Plessis is looking forward to cementing the number three position, come South Africa's second ODI against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

Du Plessis has spent the bulk of a promising limited-overs career in the middle order, but the retirement of all-rounder Jacques Kallis has brought a promotion. The decision, too, was warranted in the series opener last week.

Du Plessis scored a key half-century, superbly complementing openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock's respective ton and half-ton en route to a convincing 93-run triumph.

"I have played most of my cricket at number five, six and seven, but I think if it was up to me I would choose the number three position. It allows me to play my game plan and it's also suits the team as well," said du Plessis.

"I think we have some exciting stroke players and number three is a position that gels everyone together. With AB de Villiers coming in at four, JP Duminy at five and David Miller at six, it allows me to set up a good foundation for them."

The Proteas currently occupy fourth position in the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings, behind Australia, India and Sri Lanka. The Zimbabweans, meanwhile, are 10th – above only Afghanistan and Ireland.

"For us it's important not to focus on the opposition. We want to be number one in the world, we have high standards for ourselves as a group. We are number one in Test cricket and we want to get to that top spot in ODIs," added du Plessis.

"To get there it means you have to be as professional as possible at all times, we aren't taking Zimbabwe lightly at all."

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