Faf du Plessis, South Africa batsman, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Du Plessis the captain Proteas need at mega event

Faf wins his players’ trust as much with forthrightness as he does with decisive leadership and gritty batting. But if that makes it seem like he was always going to captain South Africa, nothing could be further from fact.

Telford Vice, May 16, 2019 13:54:31 IST

Faf du Plessis could have been lost to South African cricket after signing a Kolpak contract with Lancashire in 2007. Instead, the prodigal returned to become an unusual amalgam in the game in his country: a hard-as-nails batsman and a captain as clear-eyed as he is ambitious.

Faf wins his players’ trust as much with forthrightness as he does with decisive leadership and gritty batting. But if that makes it seem like he was always going to captain South Africa, nothing could be further from fact.

Faf du Plessis, South Africa batsman, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Du Plessis the captain Proteas need at mega event

File image of South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. Reuters

Growing up in AB de Villiers’ shadow — the two have been friends since their primary school days in Pretoria — was never going to help du Plessis’ career. So while de Villiers was dazzling the game, du Plessis was considered primarily a gun fielder who could bowl decent enough leg spin and do a job with the bat.

Nevertheless, he made it into a South Africa shirt in the third one-day international against India at Newlands on 18 January, 2011 and walked to the wicket in the 24th over with his team reduced to 90/4. He stayed until the 45th, scoring 60 and sharing a century stand with JP Duminy.

He played 29 more white-ball internationals, scoring four more half-centuries, before he was entrusted with a Test place. But only because Duminy had snapped his Achilles at the Gabba during the warm-down after the first day of that November 2012 series.

Having lost a boot on his way down the stairs at Adelaide, du Plessis knelt and frantically fiddled with pad straps and bootlaces, all the while wondering if he was about to become the first batsman to be timed out in Test cricket, and on debut no less. Had the Australians known what he would accomplish, they might have appealed.

They didn’t, and spent the next three-and-a-half hours watching du Plessis construct a technically sound, temperamentally superb 78. That proved a warm-up for his monumental effort in the second innings, an undefeated 110 — the product of almost eight hours of batting that saved the match and cast du Plessis as South Africa’s go-to player in a crisis.

A month later his captaincy career began in a T20 series. He first led the ODI side a month after that, and completed his journey to all-format skipper in August 2016. All three times South Africa’s opponents were New Zealand.

Now du Plessis is arguably the best captain the game and unarguably the best man to lead South Africa.

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Updated Date: May 16, 2019 13:54:31 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254