Cape Town - Leadership has always come naturally to Faf du Plessis, and there was therefore no surprise that he was named as the stand-in captain for AB de Villiers in this month's two-Test series against New Zealand.
And, after the first Test in Durban was washed out, Du Plessis guided the Proteas to a welcomed series win in Pretoria.
It was the complete Proteas performance - the batsmen all scored runs and the bowlers all took wickets - and Du Plessis revealed afterwards that there had been extensive meetings before the series that looked to get the Proteas in the right head space after series losses in India and at home to England.
"I think we almost played the perfect Test match so from a captain's point of view ... if I could have had a script, that is the way I would have scripted it so I'm extremely happy," Du Plessis said.
"It's been tough for us the last while, so hopefully this is a step for us in the right direction.
"I think we've definitely found our passion again. The team space at the moment is extremely good as I said before the series and that's a direct reflection of our performances.
"We had some real good discussion between ourselves and where we wanted to be challenged. We felt we were a team that needed to improve again."
Du Plessis would love to captain the Test side again in the future, but he expects De Villiers to be back leading the side when they travel for a three-Test series in Australia in November.
"I've always said that I enjoy captaincy. I think it brings the best out of me. But I'm 100% just a stand-in ... AB is the Test captain and I'll support him fully in that," Du Plessis said.
"We can't wait to have him back. He's a huge member of our team with obviously the playing capabilities that he has, but also from a leadership role he's a massive leader in our team.
"We've missed him this series and ... if the opportunity comes again in the future that's something I'll always want to do and something I really enjoy doing. But at the moment I know I'm just there to support."