Faf sees a ray of light


The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Ken Bor­land

Cap­tain Faf du Plessis says he saw six months ago al­ready that there were se­ri­ous prob­lems in South African cricket but, with a new CEO and team man­age­ment in place, he is con­fi­dent the Proteas are ready to soar again.

Du Plessis did not quite seem his usual in­spi­ra­tional self at the World Cup, and we now know it was most prob­a­bly due to how then CEO Tha­bang Moroe failed the team by not se­cur­ing an early re­lease for those play­ers in­volved in the IPL and for telling coach Ot­tis Gib­son on the day they de­parted for Eng­land that he would be out of a job at the end of the tour­na­ment.

Speak­ing to the me­dia at the Proteas train­ing camp in Cen­tu­rion though, Du Plessis seemed much more at ease ahead of the first Test against Eng­land start­ing at the same venue on Thurs­day.

“The cul­ture in the team has proven to be very strong and there have been no player is­sues. We’ve taken our poor per­for­mances on the chin, but through the mess we’ve stayed strong as a group, man­aged to keep the off-field stuff sep­a­rate. For me per­son­ally, I’ve felt some changes were needed and it’s taken a lot of en­ergy from me over the last six months, but I felt there were im­por­tant ar­eas that needed at­ten­tion.

“But now we can trust the sys­tem

Back­pagepix and the lead­er­ship group. It def­i­nitely feels dif­fer­ent and the con­ver­sa­tions we have had with Jac­ques Faul, Graeme, Jac­ques Kal­lis, Bouch and Enoch have all been very pos­i­tive. We are def­i­nitely go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. We needed ex­pe­ri­ence in the dress­ing-room and we’ve had some un­be­liev­able con­ver­sa­tions that haven’t hap­pened for a while,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis was even feel­ing chirpy enough to add some sauce to what is al­ways a spicy af­fair against Eng­land by say­ing their pow­er­ful bowl­ing at­tack was not as ef­fec­tive with the Kook­aburra ball that is used in South Africa.

“Eng­land have a very good, ex­pe­ri­enced bowl­ing at­tack in all dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, but the Kook­aburra balls are a bit dif­fer­ent to what they’re used to. They didn’t do as well in New Zealand re­cently and we have to make sure we start well against them, that’s very im­por­tant. If we can

Pic­ture: get runs on the board then we can chal­lenge them, it’s all about that.

“Their bat­ting is in­ex­pe­ri­enced, they’ve had one or two guys who have done well, but we will try to keep them quiet. The real busi­ness hap­pens out in the mid­dle and we know we will be judged by what hap­pens out there. But we’ve been given the best op­por­tu­nity to get that con­fi­dence back, work­ing with greats in the chang­e­room and feed­ing off their en­ergy,” Du Plessis said.

SEE­ING THE LIGHT. Proteas cap­tain Faf du Plessis is con­fi­dent the team can get back to win­ning ways.

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