Embattled SA captain Faf du Plessis under fire

Du Plessis is under huge pressure as Test captain following South Africa’s third successive Test series defeat

28 January 2020 - 10:11
By Liam Del Carme
Faf du Plessis reacts after dropping a catch.
Image: Christiaan Kotze / AFP Faf du Plessis reacts after dropping a catch.

South Africa suffered further ignominy after they lost the fourth Test and the series to England at the Wanderers on Monday.

They became the first team to be docked World Test Championship points for their slow over rate in their 191-run defeat to England. They were also docked 60 percent of their match fee.

They were deemed to be three overs short of the threshold.

They were always going to be susceptible to such a sanction having gone into the match with an all seam attack.

They did not bowl any spin against Joe Root’s team in the fourth Test and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis pleaded guilty to the charge.

South Africa are seventh out of nine teams on the rankings with 24 points.

Du Plessis may have another brush with authorities for the onfield antics he and some England players engaged in on the fourth day of the Test.

A throw from left arm seamer Sam Curran hit Du Plessis in the 57th over and the South African captain then became involved in a heated exchange with Stuart Broad.

While declaring his displeasure to Broad, Du Plessis brushed the shoulder of England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Both Du Plessis and Root dismissed the suggestion that those incidents warrant further interrogation. Du Plessis said he had no malicious intent.

Broad had apparently called Du Plessis an idiot and the South African explained he doesn’t like taking a step back.

“It’s part of my character,” said Du Plessis.

“I am always involved in a little bit of something somewhere in the game – trying to show that fight as the leader of the team, that you don’t stand back.

"It’s not like I am looking for it. It just happens. He said something to me and I said something back.”

Du Plessis was out soon after when a Ben Stokes delivery stayed low and cannoned into his stumps. He was equally dismissive of the notion that the earlier incidents played a role in his dismissal.

Du Plessis is under huge pressure as Test captain following South Africa’s third successive Test series defeat. He has already been relieved of the ODI captaincy.

Du Plessis’s form has been lamentable.

His average in the series was 18.87 and his highest score was 36.

He said the immediate aftermath of the Test series was emotional not the time to make big decisions.

“It is time to get away from cricket and all the noise and freshen up,” said Du Plessis.