Madibaz batsman Jean du Plessis was thrilled to be part of a rare series win for the South African U19 cricket team in the one-day internationals against England recently.
The 19-year-old accounting student from the Nelson Mandela University George campus said they had changed their approach to the game after losing the two Youth test matches.
“It was an exceptional effort from everyone to lift themselves and everyone around them after our morale had been fairly low following the tests,” said the top-order batsman.
“We brought a positive approach to the 50-over games, which is an indication of just how determined we were to finish the tour on a high.”
It was the first time an SA U19 team had a won a series in England since 2003 when Proteas players AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis were in the team.
The U19s won the three-match series 2-0 with the third game being washed out.
Since playing in their Plettenberg Bay back yard with his father and brother using a plastic bat, Du Plessis has been given a taste of cricket in the upper echelons.
Earlier this year he was in the national squad which played in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand and he recently enjoyed a memorable trip to England.
“Getting the call-up to the SA U19 side was extra special and being a part of the World Cup was amazing.
“Being exposed to that kind of pressure is such a valuable learning experience and scoring a 50 in the first game I played at the World Cup will always be something to remember.”
Du Plessis felt the tour of England was important in furthering his development as a cricketer.
“Because of all the cricketing minds around you, it is such a good environment to speed up an individual’s learning process,” he said.
“But having said that, I think it is important to know how to sift through the information you pick up and take what works for you.
His immediate plans are to complete his studies and to perform at a high level for the SWD provincial side.
“Of course, the dream is to play for the Proteas, but I will just have to take it step by step.”