CAPE TOWN - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis admits his team are “feeling a little sorry for the Bangladesh bowlers”.
The tourists’ bowling unit have copped a severe thrashing on this tour of South Africa thus far, conceding 1316 runs in just three Test innings while only picking up 13 wickets in the process.
The punishment continued at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley during the first ODI on Sunday. Hamstrung further due to the withdrawal of premier opening bowler, Mustafizur “The Fizz” Rahman due to an injury picked up on Saturday in the build-up, the Bangladeshi bowlers failed to pick up a single wicket while Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla stormed to a record-breaking 278/0 to power the Proteas to a 10-wicket victory.
"We're playing really well. Another dominating performance - that's what we asked for and they delivered. We're feeling a little sorry for the Bangladesh bowlers, they've had a hard tour, but that's what being ruthless is about,” Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis did not feel the pitch was overly good for batting, but rather that his bowlers used cunning plans to restrict the Bangladeshi batsmen during their innings.
“I thought the pitch was a little slow in the first innings, maybe the heavy roller made it better to bat on in the second innings. It was mostly to do with the wind - you try and eliminate one side of the field [bowling slower bouncers],” the skipper said.
The Proteas team management said ahead of this series that although winning the series is imperative, and without wanting to take the opposition lightly, they do want to start building towards the 2019 World Cup with new coach Ottis Gibson at the helm.
Du Plessis gave further indication that the Proteas are likely to experiment during this series, and was considering a change in the batting order when he identified the dominant position his team was in. However, his potent opening pair of De Kock and Amla – who are now the leading opening partnership for the Proteas in ODI cricket – did not give the skipper the opportunity.
“I went to the coach and said, let's do something out of the box, send Andile (Phehlukwayo) in at 3, give him a chance to learn to finish the game. [Amla and De Kock] were brilliant - they were greedy, and that's what you need to be," he explained.
The Proteas move on to Paarl where they will play the second ODI on Wednesday.