South African captain Faf du Plessis believes Australia's strong batting line-up will have a significant impact in the World Twenty20 which starts in Bangladesh next week.
“They've got a powerhouse batting attack,” said Du Plessis after Australia cruised to a six-wicket win over his team at SuperSport Park on Friday on the eve of the departure of both teams for the world event.
“Every one of their top seven or eight can take the game away from you,” said Du Plessis. “That makes them very dangerous. They've also good quality fast bowling. They didn't give us anything to hit in the first six overs. They have a very good chance of getting to the semi-finals.”
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc, man of the match on Friday, said their Twenty20 squad had made the most of their two weeks in South Africa, despite rain washing out one match and reducing another to seven overs a side.
Australia won the three-match series 2-0 to follow a 3-0 clean sweep against England earlier this year.
“We've got a lot out of the three games against England and the two weeks here,” said Starc, although he admitted going to Bangladesh was a step into the unknown.
“I've never been there and a fair few of us haven't been to Bangladesh,” he said. “But we've got a warm-up game against New Zealand which will give us a good idea of what to expect. It will be a case of doing everything as well as we can before that first game.”
Australia's first match of the tournament is against Pakistan in Mirpur on Sunday, March 23.
While Australia head to Bangladesh in confident mood, South Africa need to improve on two lacklustre performances.
Du Plessis admitted his side had performed poorly in all three disciplines.
“We lost early wickets and there were mistakes by the batting unit,” he said. “We're not giving our big hitters the base to attack from. We bowled the wrong lines and lengths and we made mistakes in the field.”
But Du Plessis said confidence remained high. “We've had good success in the sub-continent and we've got two warm-up games before the tournament. But we need to play our best cricket if we are to do well.”
Du Plessis said the return of fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, nursing hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively, would add quality and experience to South Africa's bowling attack. Both are expected to be fit to play in scheduled warm-up games against Bangladesh A and Pakistan in Fatullah.– AFP