South African cricketer Faf du Plessis believes spending months in a bio-secure bubble could soon become a major challenge for players.
“We understand it’s a very tough season and a tough challenge for a lot of people, but if it’s a consecutive bubble life, things would become a big challenge,” du Plessis said at a virtual conference. press Saturday.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, cricketers must adhere to strict procedures for an international series. In countries like Pakistan, international matches are played in empty stadiums and player movement is confined to their hotels and stadiums.
Du Plessis is one of those South African cricketers, along with Captain Quinton de Kock, to have lived life in a bubble in recent months. He played in the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates and in the home series against Sri Lanka. He now has a series of two trials in Pakistan, starting Tuesday in Karachi, followed by the second trial in Rawalpindi.
“The main priority is to play cricket, to be there doing what we love instead of being at home… so I think that is still the most important thing. But I think that ‘There would definitely come a time when players would struggle with that (bubble), ”said du Plessis.
“If you look at a calendar of the last eight months, you look at about four or five months in a bubble, which is a lot. For some of us (being) without families, it can get difficult. Right now, I am. always in a good position, I still feel very motivated and motivated, but I can only speak for myself.
“I don’t think it’s possible to go from bubble to bubble to bubble, I’ve seen and heard a lot of players talking about it. I don’t think it’s lasting.”
The South African team trained at the national stadium – the venue for the opening of trials – for the first time on Saturday. Previously, the visitors had been training at a stadium near the team hotel for four days where they played intra-team matches.
“For now, (I appreciate) the four walls of my room and then the field outside where we can do what we love,” du Plessis said.
The 36-year-old du Plessis, who has appeared in 67 test matches for South Africa with a batting average exceeding 40, will play his first test in Pakistan since making his debut against Australia in 2012. Pakistan has last hosted South Africa in 2007. In 2009, the doors to international cricket were closed on Pakistan after an attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team bus in Lahore.
Du Plessis played seven test matches against Pakistan, including two in the United Arab Emirates and five in South Africa.
Du Plessis is South Africa’s most experienced player on tour in Pakistan, but he wasn’t sure what kind of wickets would be prepared for both tests.
“I think that is perhaps the most important thing that we are not sure about,” he said.
“As a team, we try to prepare for anything and everything, over-preparation, spinning conditions, reverse swing… if I have to call him I probably said I think the wickets will be a little more sub-continental than it used to be (in 2007), so the spinners would probably be a little more in the game. “
Du Plessis chose in-form Pakistani all-format captain Babar Azam and fast pitcher Shaheen Afridi as the two players who could pose problems for tourists. Babar has regained his fitness after a broken thumb – in his absence Pakistan lost both the Twenty20 series and the New Zealand test series.
“Obviously, Babar’s comeback is huge for them,” du Plessis said.
“Afridi got a lot of wickets, so probably someone like him would be quite dangerous.”
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