Avoid confrontation with Kohli: Du Plessis

Melbourne: South African captain Faf du Plessis offered tips to Australia ahead of their big-ticket clashes against India: avoid confrontation with Virat Kohli and give him ‘silent treatment’.

Du Plessis on Friday said that his team gave India captain Kohli the ‘silent treatment’ in an attempt to keep him quiet when the two teams squared off earlier this year, when India toured South Africa. In a three-match Test series, South Africa clinched the series by winning the first two Tests with India registering a victory in the last one. However, India won both the T20 and the ODI series during the tour.

“There are guys like that in international cricket (who enjoy the confrontation). We feel like that when we play against someone like Virat Kohli, he wants to get into the fight,” the Protea said. Du Plessis’ South Africa beat India 2-1 in the series but Kohli emerged as the top run-getter with an aggregate of 286 from three Tests at an average of 47.66.

“There’s one or two guys in each team around the world that we as a team discuss before playing against them. We’re like, ‘better not say too much to him because you’ll get him going’.” Kohli has been in imperious form throughout the year. The world no 1 Test batsman notched up 593 runs against England in the five-match series and followed that up with three back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies in the One-day International series.

Du Plessis said, “He’s an amazing player. We gave him the silent treatment and he still scored runs in South Africa, but we felt like it was not huge runs. He scored the one hundred there in Centurion when the wicket was slow. So every team will have what they think works for us, that was silent treatment.”

‘T20 WC will be my last’

South African captain Faf du Plessis said on Friday the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in two years’ time will be his last.
The 34-year-old, who has led his country in two World T20 campaigns, in 2014 and 2016, is keen to play a third but will then step aside. “The T20 World Cup in 2020 is something I’m really looking forward to. I think right now that will probably be the last tournament for me,” he said in Brisbane ahead of a one-off T20 against Australia on Saturday.

Du Plessis, who is the skipper across all three formats, made his T20 debut in 2012 and has played 41 times, scoring 1,237 runs at an average of 35.34. The 2020 World Cup takes place between 18 October and 15 November across eight Australian cities.