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Motivated Faf du Plessis urges intensity ahead of Afghanistan clash

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has urged his teammates to let go of the past, and focus on securing their first win, as they take on Afghanistan in Cardiff on Saturday.

South Africa have had a disappointing start to their World Cup campaign, having faced three successive losses, against England, Bangladesh and India respectively, before their rain-interrupted game against West Indies ended without a result. Captain Faf du Plessis has now emphasized on short-term goals, as his side faces a must-win situation in each of their remaining matches to stay in contention for the semi-final race.

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"Week one was a bad start to the tournament but that's done now," du Plessis said, on Friday. “We have to make sure we put all our energy and focus into what’s coming up next. If we carry the ghosts of the last week with us, it’s going to be tough to get out of the hole."

The South African skipper insisted that each individual needs to focus on the tasks that lie ahead, instead of dwelling in the past.

"Honestly it's just been checking in with every guy individually, see where he or she is, and then just making sure that I make it clear to them that there needs to be a purpose in what's coming up. You can't just hope for things to change. Hope's a very dangerous thing for me; you have to make it happen, you need to get yourself out of that space as quick as possible," he said.

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The 34-year old further added that his side can be dangerous if they express themselves to their true potential.

"It's super clear for us. Now everyone has written the team off. So there's our backs against the wall as a team. We can't be looking back now. If you're looking back, then we're just going to almost like float through this tournament, win maybe one, maybe two, three games, but we're not going to achieve what we want. So hopefully that will allow the guys to come out and play the way we want them to play and the way we can play. And I believe if we truly do that, we'll be a dangerous team."

Du Plessis seemed uncertain about Lungi Ngidi's inclusion on Saturday, after the latter had suffered a hamstring strain during the game against Bangladesh at The Oval.

"It's a tricky one with fast bowlers as to when they do come back. We're in a position now where we need to win five games out of five so you want your best available for selection," he said.

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Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.

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