Faf sees a ray of light
DU PLESSIS: NOW WE CAN TRUST THE SYSTEM AND THE LEADERSHIP GROUP
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.