faf du plessis
Faf du Plessis (AFP Photo)

South Africa captain Faf du Plesiss has implored his batsmen to improve saying doing okay won’t be enough to win the World Cup. (READ: De Kock stars as SA beat Sri Lanka)

Du Plessis was speaking after a combined batting display saw South Africa posting a challenging 331/5 against Sri Lanka resulting in a series clinching victory for the hosts on Sunday. Opener Quinton de Kock scored an attacking century – 121 off 108 – before significant contributions from the middle order fired the Proteas to what turned out to be a match-winning total in Durban. (READ: Duminy, Amla, Markram recalled)

The performance has come at the right time for South Africa as they fine tune their plans for the World Cup that gets underway from May 30 in England.

“We spoke a little about the batting in the previous game, and wanting to be better and raising the standards,” Du Plessis was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Monday. “Just purely on personal performance, 20s and 30s are not going to win us the World Cup. If you’re doing okay, that’s not enough. We want those standards to be higher and better, because that’s what is going to be the difference. We can’t have a mediocre batting line-up and one or two guys performing at the World Cup. We need two or three guys every single game to put their hand up.”

Revealing the template that he wants his batsmen to follow, Du Plessis said conservative brand of cricket isn’t going to help their chances in anyway at the quadrennial tournament.

“You need to be prepared to take the risks, you’re brave enough to take the risks, and you’re not scared of failing. Just playing a conservative style of cricket, I don’t believe it’s going to win you the World Cup,” the 34-year-old said.

While South Africa are still trying to fill in the void left by the retirement of AB de Villiers last year, Du Plessis reiterates their philosophy is to not rely on just one player.

“We don’t want to rely on one player. Obviously, AB is a fantastic batter, but sometimes you can in the back of your mind just rely on guys like that, and that’s not the way that I want us to play as a team. Everyone needs to contribute, every single game. You’re not guaranteed a performance, but you’re guaranteed of putting in the style of play, of putting in the hard work and raising your intensity, and trying to make sure that you can be a better player than you’ve been before. And I think slowly but surely you can see that from the players.”