Johannesburg: South Africa interim Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has said the Proteas will not be taking New Zealand lightly during the three-match T20 series starting at Kingsmead on Friday.
Past records and rankings may suggest an easy taking for the Proteas, however, the tenacity of the Black Caps and the unpredictable nature of the T20 format leaves the odds even.
During the 2011 World Cup in India, New Zealand stunned South Africa by 49 runs in the quarterfinals, a game Du Plessis probably still has nightmares of, as he was responsible for the run-out of team-mate AB de Villiers at a crucial junction in the run-chase as the Proteas capitulated under pressure.
“I rate them quite highly. I remember at the World Cup a lot of teams would have said it was going to be an easy game, but I definitely learnt the hard way in terms of that,” Sport24 quoted Du Plessis, as saying.
“You can’t underestimate any opposition, and in T20 cricket it makes them even more dangerous because they have quite a few match winners,” he added.
Du Plessis now hopes to pass down his past experiences against New Zealand to help the younger players in his squad.
“One thing the Kiwis always bring to the party is competitiveness,” Du Plessis said.
“Luckily I have played a couple of series against them so we can share that knowledge with the younger guys so that they know what to expect. They are very competitive so we are expecting a tough series,” he added.