Will it be a farewell home Test for Faf at The Bull­ring?

Pretoria News - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS in Port El­iz­a­beth

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.

Faf du Plessis

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