Cape Town – In the national interest, an enforced rest of
several weeks hardly amounts to a train smash for Faf du Plessis.
The senior Proteas player tweeted on Friday that his hitherto
productive Indian Premier League campaign for the Rising Pune Supergiants (206
runs at 34.33) has come to a premature end courtesy of a broken finger.
He said he would be sidelined for around six weeks, which
means he would make a delayed start, at best, to the winter one-day
international triangular series against West Indies and Australia in the
Caribbean from early June.
South African open their account against the Aussies in
Guyana on June 3, so Du Plessis being ready for that -- and a few of the quick
follow-up round-robin matches during the tournament -- would be an overly
But the Proteas are likely to rest certain heavily-worked
personnel from the event anyway with Du Plessis, who turns out for the country
regularly in all three formats and leads the T20 outfit, a prime candidate for
He is one of the handful of national players who had a
particularly busy domestic summer before heading straight into the ICC World
Twenty20 and then the IPL; it would be counter-productive for him to be pushed
straight into “early-season” in the Caribbean.
The big emphasis for the Proteas next season is to try to
regain their top-dog status in Test cricket – they have slipped to third – and
that quest begins against New Zealand in a two-match home series.
The first Test against the sixth-ranked Black Caps is
scheduled for Kingsmead from August 19, and it seems the most fitting
opportunity for the 31-year-old, suitably refreshed from a mental and physical
break, to pick up a bat for international purposes again.
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