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2019 World Cup: Faf du Plessis fired up to sign off with a win against his 'favourite opponent'

Out of the semifinal race, South Africa will simply be playing for pride after two wins and five losses in the competition. 

PTI PTI
MANCHESTER Published on: July 05, 2019 22:27 IST
2019 World Cup: Faf du Plessis fired up to sign off with a win against his 'favourite opponent'
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2019 World Cup: Faf du Plessis fired up to sign off with a win against his 'favourite opponent'

It did not turn out to be a 'virtual quarterfinal' that he thought of but South Africa captain Faf du Plessis could not be more excited to play against his 'favourite opponent' Australia and end an otherwise forgettable World Cup campaign on a high.
 
Out of the semifinal race, South Africa will simply be playing for pride after two wins and five losses in the competition. 
 
With Imran Tahir and JP Duminy confirming their retirement from ODI cricket following the conclusion of the World Cup, and questions also surrounding other veterans such as Hashim Amla, there is still enough to play for.
 
And for Du Plessis, the fact that it will be Australia on the other side of the square only makes the occasion all the more special.
 
"Once you cross the rope, Australia are my favourite team to play against. It’s a great competition between two fierce nations. It is always a great battle – the teams are always very competitive. That’s why I love playing against them," he said on the eve of South Africa's final World Cup game.
 
"At the moment, they are a very, very confident team sitting pretty in the World Cup, whereas we’re a little bit off where we need to be but we still need to make sure we’re giving it everything.
 
"We did target this game when the fixtures came out – as the last game of the group stage we thought it would be a great opportunity to play a match that is almost like a quarter-final but that’s not the case now. There’s still a lot to play for though."
 
Turning 35 in a week’s time and with more than 140 ODIs under his belt, Du Plessis knows there are also questions surrounding his own future with the Proteas.
 
But he doesn't want to make a hasty decision in the heat of the moment, so will allow emotions to settle before deciding what his next move is.
 
"My plan was to commit fully to the World Cup and not think of anything else further than that. I didn't want my mind to start drifting, I wanted to be completely present as captain.
 
"Now is not best time to make decisions because you are disappointed. I wouldn’t say I’m emotional but you don’t want to be in this mode when making career decisions.
 
I’ll take some time off, reflect what the future looks like for me and what my purpose is. "In terms of my own game, the last year is the best I’ve played – performance-wise there are no question marks but it’s about making sure there is a lot of purpose to what I’m doing."

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