The Star Late Edition
Prince: Faf has evolved with the game
WITH his praise for Faf du Plessis on social media, did Ashwell Prince join a long line of supporters dreaming of the former captain’s return to the Proteas?
Getting Du Plessis back into the South African team has been a hot topic since the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he was left out of the squad.
Since Du Plessis was not participating in any domestic competition at the time, he was not eligible to play, as per Cricket SA’s rules. The lack of communication from CSA with Du Plessis further caused frustration to both the player and fans around the world.
During this period, the righthanded batter has continued scoring big runs and led his teams superbly in T20 leagues around the world.
Du Plessis has shifted gears and taken his performances up a notch in the last year.
The improvement is demonstrated in the IPL, where he has the most sixes, scored the most half-centuries and wears the Orange Cap game after game, displaying his dominance to the world as the current leading run-scorer.
Proteas legend Prince took to social media this week to shower Du Plessis with complements.
This was after Du Plessis’ 40-ball 44, an innings many looked down on halfway through the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders encounter on Monday.
RCB scored 126/9 and KKR only managed 108 all out, with Du Plessis finishing with the highest score in the match and literally winning the game for RCB.
Only Virat Kohli (31 off 30) came close, and that showed just how Du Plessis is to be able to find a way to score in such difficult batting conditions.
“Faf knows that someone has to be prepared to, as unglamorous as it is, to scrap his way to 44 (40) at 110% to give his team a chance,” said Prince.
“At times during a game, you’ve got to be able to assess the situation and say ‘Hell, in my current form, if it’s this hard for me, it’s going to be hard for them’.
“As the game evolves, Faf has evolved.”
Prince pointed out leadership, maturity, and the ability to assess conditions quickly and adapt accordingly as some of the key factors that have allowed Du Plessis to flourish.
What stood out in Prince’s analysis was when he highlighted the former Titans stalwart’s unrivalled and deep understanding of the game. That is something only a few cricketers ever get to embody.
It comes with experience, with many highs and lows forcing a player to go back to the drawing board.
At 38, Du Plessis has been through it all, and that experience is propelling him to new heights. Is it only a matter of time until we see Du Plessis’ name in SA’s white-ball squads again?