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WT20: India favourites, SA underdogs, says Faf du Plessis

Mirpur: South African skipper Faf du Plessis today said though he has learnt a lot from MS Dhoni during his stint with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, he would be relying on his own style of captaincy when his team takes on India in the semifinals of the ICC World T20 here today.

"I've really enjoyed my time in Chennai and my time with MS. I have been there now for three years. I have learnt quite a bit from him as a captain. He is a very good and an inspirational leader and he has had huge success for India.

Faf Du Plessis
Faf Du Plessis. Pic/ AFP

His record speaks for itself. "My style of captaincy is completely different to his," Du Plessis said when asked if he has learnt some tricks of the trade from Dhoni. Du Plessis termed India the "favourites" while calling his team "underdogs".

"We felt a couple of times before that this was our time. India are still regarded as one of the favourites and we have played pretty much through the whole tournament as underdogs. "We have been playing very well as a team and we have had different guys performing in every single game, so we are not relying on someone.

It's important to play the key moments well. It is a high pressure game and if you make the right decisions on the day you will be on top," he said. Du Plessis admitted that India would have an advantage going into the match having played all their matches at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here.

"It's a huge thing. The wicket at Dhaka is completely different to Chittagong. We have played all our games there (Chittagong) and India have played all their games here. "From a conditions point of view, they are much more used to them than we are and we have put in some really hard practice to speak on really abrasive surfaces making sure that we almost over-practised against the ball that is turning too much," he observed.

Du Plessis said that one should not try and read too much into Shane Warne dropping in at the South African nets yesterday. "It wasn't our decision. I think it was Warne's decision. He thought he wanted to come and bowl a bit and bowl a few balls to us. Obviously, it was nice to have him around as he has been such a fantastic bowler.

We certainly didn't request him to come and bowl. "I wasn't there when he was speaking with Imran (Tahir)," Du Plessis replied to a query. The skipper made it a point to mention that Tahir had played for the English County side Hampshire alongside Warne.

"But Imran has met him before. Obviously, they both have played for Hampshire. They have worked together in the past and I did ask him (Tahir) as to what he (Warne) said. Tahir just said Warne praised him and said 'you've been bowling well and keep up the good work'."

He kept the cards close to his chest about what position AB de Villiers would bat on or whether left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso would get a chance to play tomorrow. "It is not important how much time AB bats but at what time of the innings he bats.

I have been pretty clear on that and there's been a certain time that we feel is the best for AB to come in and bat and that's definitely not at a certain position. He could come in at No. 3 if we have had a good start," Du Plessis said.

"That decision (on Phangiso) we will take tomorrow. We decided that because there is a game before us (women's semi-final). We will assess how the wicket is playing and if it helps spin, we will definitely look at that option."

Du Plessis feels South Africa's good show against Indians at home last year will boost their confidence. "I must say India has done very well over the past few days. They have always been a team that does well in big tournaments but we played against them and we have been immensely successful against them and we'll draw confidence from that. So both teams will be equally confident when it comes to the match tomorrow," he said.

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