Faf du Plessis credits the ODI whitewash against Australia as major booster    Getty Images
Faf du Plessis credits the ODI whitewash against Australia as major booster Getty Images

Johannesburg: After humiliating Australia in the second Test of the on-going three-Test series, South Africa’s stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis has asserted that the Steven Smith-led side had made a mistake by sending an under-strength team to South Africa for five-match One-Day International (ODI) series in September and October. Proteas’ paceman tore through Australia’s last eight wickets before lunch on Day Four to complete a humiliating innings and 80-run defeat on Tuesday and seal the three-Test series with a game to spare. Kyle Abbott, who replaced pace spearhead Dale Steyn, was adjudged Man of the Match after taking 6 for 77 in the second innings to go with the match figures of 9 for 118. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Hobart

Vernon Philander, who laid the platform for victory with five wickets in the first innings when Australia were bundled out for 85, however, went wicketless. Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabda took the remaining four wickets in the second innings to cause a major collapse to the Smith-led side. Du Plessis said Aussie selectors made a mistake by opting to tour South Africa without their two best fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. “I definitely think so. We come across here with lot of confidence, we did expect a really tough challenge because its a different team and a full-strength team with two key players in Starc and Hazlewood (returning),” the 32-year-old was quoted as saying by Sport24. ALSO READ: Rod Marsh quits as Australia s chairman of selectors after series loss to South Africa

“Certainly, not facing them is better than facing them,” he added. The ODI series in South Africa preceding the Test series was comprehensively won by the Proteas wherein the whitewashed the Aussies 5-0. “The confidence from coming over 5-0 has helped us a lot and I think it will be the same case going into the last Test match,” he said. “We’re a confidence team and making sure we do the basics well and if we do that we’ll keep pressure on Australian team,” he added. The Proteas have now won their last three series in Australia, following victories under Graeme Smith in 2008 and 2012.

Smith is currently top-ranked batsmen in the world, with 15 centuries to his name in 45 Tests, but his role as a captain has been under the scanner following five successive Test defeats that also saw Australia slip to third from first in the team rankings. Australia will further slip to fifth if they fail to stop South Africa from completing whitewash in third and and final Test in Adelaide, starting November 24.