Du Plessis takes the blame
PROTEAS Test captain Faf du Plessis has accepted responsibility for his role in the crucial run out of AB de Villiers in Sunday’s crushing eight-wicket defeat to India at The Oval.
De Villiers was caught short of his ground in the 29th over, even after putting in a “superman” dive after Du Plessis called him through for a quick single. De Villiers’s dismissal precipitated a massive collapse with South Africa losing eight wickets for 51 runs to be dismissed for just 191.
One of the eight wickets to fall was another run out just five balls later. This one was even more embarrassing with Du Plessis involved again. On this occasion both batsmen were found trying to make their ground at the same end allowing Indian captain Virat Kohli to casually take off the bails at the other end.
“I take full responsibility for AB’s run-out. That’s my fault,” Du Plessis said in the ICC’s media mixed zone. “Obviously, he is a big player for us, and he was looking good and it was a crunch time in the game. Big mistake from my part to run out AB. That’s obviously never part of your plan when you prep for a game.
“But I thought India in that time were really good, they started getting a few dot balls. That obviously created a little bit of pressure. So, an error of judgment from my side looking for the single. Good fielding from their point of view.
“And then to make it happen another two overs later when Dave went for the run. Changed the game completely. And from putting us in a good position, put us in a really bad position. Crucial moment in the game.”
Du Plessis and De Villiers have a chequered past of miscommunication. The pair were involved in a run out in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal against New Zealand in Dhaka that ultimately ended in defeat, too. Equally, in SA’s last encounter with India at the 2015 World Cup at the MCG, the duo were involved in yet another mix-up with De Villiers being the victim yet again.
Du Plessis was dismissed shortly after Miller’s run out and admitted that it was hard to focus on the rest of the innings after the two big wickets pulled the rug out under South Africa’s innings.
“You try and forget about it. You try and focus what’s in front of you. There was still a lot of cricket to be played. But it definitely is still there and it’s about getting through it,” Du Plessis said.
“I ran AB out and it was important for me to be there still towards the end to get to some sort of total we could defend. But I then got out. I thought it was a pretty average day at the office for all of us. We weren’t at our best and credit to India for putting us under pressure.”