South African captain Faf du Plessis is urging his victorious team to keep their foot on Australia’s throat and go after a series whitewash in next week’s final Adelaide test.
The Proteas are on the verge of an unprecedented test series clean sweep in Australia after crushing the home side by an innings and 80 runs before lunch on the fourth day of the second test in Hobart yesterday.
That clinched the South Africans’ third consecutive test series down under stretching back to 2008.
They have the chance of cleaning up all three tests in the day-night game at the Adelaide Oval, starting on November 24.
As far as Du Plessis is concerned, there will be no easing up on the demoralised Australians.
“That’s the mission for us now. We want to do that very badly,” he said after his team effectively beat the Australians in under three days following Sunday’s play being washed out by rain.”
“The same with the ODIs [5-0 series win in South Africa last month], we won’t just rest on our laurels and be happy with 2-1 or even 2-0. “We ’ve got Australia in a position where they’re under pressure and we won’t let that go.”
“It’s hard enough to get them in this position so we’ll do everything we can to keep them there.” Du Plessis, who replaced the injured AB de Villiers as skipper for the tests in Australia, rated the series win as the highlight of his playing career.
“I didn’t expect it to happen [so quickly]. To get eight wickets for 32 runs is one of those sessions we will always remember as a team that won us a series,” he said.
“That ranks right at the top. To come here and do what we’ve done is right up there, certainly in my career.”
The trailblazing series success would act as a spur for younger players watching at home, he said.
“We know how hard it is. Even guys like Dale [Steyn] and Hashim [Amla], they know how hard it is coming here.”
“I suppose the younger guys that are looking from back home right now can see that it’s possible, coming here and to an extent dominating an Australian team, which gives us as a country a lot of confidence when we go and travel.”
“But it’s extremely special for us, we know that this is something that we’ll remember forever as a team and that’s exactly what we came here to do.”
A major part of the Proteas’ success was keeping the clamps on Australia’s senior players David Warner and Steve Smith, Du Plessis said.
“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,” he said.
“We’ve just made sure those guys have been relatively quiet in the series. Even guys like Mitchell Starc, who is a fantastic bowler.”