Sport

Du Plessis suggests two-week isolation period for players before and after T20 WC

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis. File

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an unconventional and unique leader, whose biggest strength is his incredible gut feeling, says Faf du Plessis.

Veteran South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis has proposed a two-week isolation period for players before and after the T20 World Cup as a way to stage the event as per schedule later this year.

Like other sports, cricketing action too has come to a complete halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fate of the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October-November is shrouded in uncertainty.

Talking to Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, du Plessis said travel was going to be an issue despite Australia being less affected by the deadly contagion.

“I am not sure... reading that travelling is going to be an issue for lot of countries and they are talking about December or January. Even if Australia is not affected like other countries, to get people from Bangladesh, South Africa or India where there is more danger, obviously it’s a health risk to them,” du Plessis said.

“But you can go in before the tournament (for) two weeks isolation and then play the tournament and afterwards two weeks isolation,” said the former captain.

Several countries across the globe, including South Africa, Australia and India, have travel restrictions in place and the veteran Proteas batsman joked travelling by boat is not an option.

“But I don’t know when South Africa will open their travel ban because we can’t go there like old days on boats,” du Plessis said.

In March, South Africa’s ODI series against India was called off after the first match in view of the pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected more than 44 lakh people worldwide while causing close to 3 lakh deaths.

‘Dhoni’s incredible gut feeling is his biggest strength’

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an unconventional and unique leader, whose biggest strength is his incredible gut feeling, says his Chennai Super Kings teammate Faf du Plessis.

The former South Africa skipper has spent considerable time with Dhoni after joining the Indian Premier league (IPL) side in 2011 and has been an integral part of its successful journey.

“He reads the others player really well and he uses that to make instinctive decisions on the field. He’s got an incredible gut feeling on the game and I think that’s his biggest strength,” du Plessis said.

The 35-year-old said Dhoni changed his perception of how a captain should be.

“It was amazing for me to see how different M S was as a captain. I used to think a captain must speak all the time in team meetings etc but M S was completely different.

“He doesn’t believe a lot in team meetings. He’s a very instinctive captain he’s got such a good cricket brain that he relies on it to make the right decisions on the field,” du Plessis said of former India skipper.

Dhoni last played for India in World Cup semifinal last year and was expected to be back to playing competitive cricket at now-postponed IPL.

Calling Dhoni the best finisher he has played with, Du Plessis said no one can emulate what the dasher from Ranchi can do with the bat.

“He’s extremely calm. I haven’t played with someone who is a better finisher than him. It’s just remarkable to watch him from the side of the field.”

“If someone else tries to do it like him they won’t be able to. He’s just so unique like he times the ball so late he’s got an incredible calmness. He knows his game and he picks a bowler and goes for it.”

Du Plessis said that playing for CSK alongside Dhoni and under the guidance head coach Stephen Fleming has taught him a lot about leadership.

“I’m lucky to have started my journey there at CSK because I have really learned a lot from a leadership point of view. I tried to learn as much as possible from Dhoni and Stephen Fleming because both are great captains.”

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 11:16:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/du-plessis-suggests-two-week-isolation-period-for-players-before-and-after-t20-wc/article31581300.ece

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