Johannesburg - Proteas batsman, Faf du Plessis, is determined to make the number three batting position his own, following Jacques Kallis's retirement from One-Day International (ODI) cricket last month.
Du Plessis scored the majority of his ODI runs coming in at number five, but showed in Sunday's 93-run victory over Zimbabwe that he could be the rock to fill the vacant position.
Du Plessis compiled 59 runs from 77 balls as the Proteas posted 309 for three in their 50 overs.
He has played 48 ODI's with an average of 28.31, and has only batted at number three eight times, achieving a healthy average of 32.
“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,” Du Plessis said.
“It allows me to play my game plan and it also suits the team as well. 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 30-year-old has a clear understanding of his role in the position, and is content with making contributions without the flashy stroke-play, but with his solid and sturdy batting.
“My role for this specific number three position is to anchor the innings and to be as solid as possible, which will allow the other guys to play with freedom.
“If my role was to play with freedom I would do that, but my role at the moment is to stay there with the stroke-players.”
The Proteas would be hoping to replicate Sunday's clinical performance in the second ODI on Tuesday.
“For us it's important not to focus on the opposition,” Du Plessis said.
“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 ODI's.
“To get there it means you have to be as professional as possible at all times. We aren't taking Zimbabwe lightly at all.” - Sapa