Will it be a farewell home Test for Faf at The Bullring?
SOUTH Africa could start the next home summer with a new Test captain after Faf du Plessis admitted the series finale against England starting on Friday at the Wanderers could be his farewell home Test.
Du Plessis’ future across formats has been under scrutiny since the disappointing World Cup last year.
He has always indicated that the World T20 in Australia later this year could be his international swansong, but has now finally revealed some clarity relating to the individual formats too.
“I have committed until the T20 World Cup,” Du Plessis said when asked about his future after the Proteas slumped to an innings-and-53-run defeat to England at St George’s Park yesterday.
“There isn’t a lot of Test cricket left this year: one massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible, (and) afterwards there is quite a big gap.
“I have said before, there is an opportunity to release some of the captaincy. Two Test matches in the West Indies (in July), and the rest of the year is white-ball stuff. Most probably after that, Test cricket will be something that won’t see me.
“That’s a decision I will make then. For me now it’s to be as strong as possible.”
Du Plessis’ has been under intense pressure of late. His team is underperforming with South Africa having lost 2-1 at home to Sri Lanka last year, been white-washed in India 3-0 and now trail England 2-1 with only Test remaining.
Equally, his personal form in Test cricket has also been disappointing, having not scored a century in 15 innings now.
It certainly is a different world to when Du Plessis was leading the Proteas to series victories over Australia – the first South African captain to achieve this feat both home and away – and was among the team’s leading run-scorers in Test cricket.
The skipper admitted he is feeling the pressure, but that he will soldier on.
“It is a tough time, but there is no running away from it. There is no escaping it. I am the leader of the team and it comes with the job description. There was a time when things were nice and easy, and everything was going our way. Now we are at the bottom of that wave and we have to go to work again,” Du Plessis said.