Proteas gained confidence from ODIs

South Africa Test skipper Faf du Plessis has essentially thanked Australia’s selectors for giving his side the confidence to win the Test series Down Under.

Du Plessis said the ODI series in South Africa two months ago, which the Proteas won five-nil, gave his side a lot of confidence, as the Aussies had rested their best bowlers.

He said it was a mistake for the Aussies to send a third string bowling attack to SA, as it allowed the Proteas to get their eyes in and boost their self-esteem.

When asked if the ODI series win helped them, Faf said: “I definitely think so.

“We came across here with a lot of confidence, we did expect a really tough challenge because it’s a different team and a full-strength team with two key players in Starc and Hazlewood (returning).

“Certainly, not facing them is better than facing them.

“The confidence from coming over five-nil has helped us a lot and I think it will be the same case going into that last Test match.

“We’re a confidence team and making sure we do the basics well and if we do that we’ll keep pressure on the Australian team.”

He then said that unlike his side, the Aussies had no confidence at all, and it showed in their body language and performance.

Du Plessis continued: “We are a team that’s confident at the moment, so we use that and we walk and talk that on the field, our body language is extremely good.

“But when you’re a team that’s under the pump and under pressure and not playing as well as you would’ve liked, that (confidence) fades away and it’s hard to fake it.

“Even though at times they had little bits of it (momentum) we just didn’t give them the opportunity to do it for long periods of time.

“Guys like David Warner and Steve Smith, if you can put a lot of pressure on them you know that the younger and the more inexperienced players in the team won’t have the same punch as they would have if they back up on their (Warner and Smith’s) performances.

“We’ve just made sure those guys have been relatively quiet in the series. Even guys like Starc, who is a fantastic bowler.

“He did amazing things, he bowled really well in that one spell (on day one), but that’s when if you’re on top you get a five-fer, you clean the tail up and you bowl a team out.

“We were really good at making sure we stopped that.”