Proteas

Faf acknowledges need to start contributing

2018-03-22 06:50
Faf du Plessis (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has acknowledged that he needs to find form and start contributing some meaningful runs against Australia.

The third Test starts at Newlands on Thursday, and with the series locked at 1-1 it is a match that will have a major say in how things shape up heading into the final Test in Johannesburg.

The performance of the top order will, as always, be key.

Australian captain Steve Smith, struggling himself by his standards, on Tuesday spoke of the importance of one of his top four getting big runs in Cape Town, and Du Plessis feels the same.

Aiden Markram carded 143 in the first Test while AB de Villiers is the leading run scorer in the series after a majestic century of his own in the second. Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar, meanwhile, scored valuable half-centuries in Port Elizabeth.

Du Plessis, though, has struggled throughout.

In the two Tests against the Aussies so far, he has scored just 30 runs at an average of 10.

The skipper is due a score, and he knows that better than anyone.

"It’s important for me to make runs," Du Plessis said from Newlands on Wednesday.

"Forget the captaincy, I always say you need to score runs - that’s the most important job for any player or any captain or leader.

"The Aussies have been keeping me quiet this series, so I’m really motivated to make a big play. It’s very important ... to win these big series, you need your senior players to step to the party.

"Fortunately for me other guys stepped up in the previous Test, so hopefully this Test it’s my turn."

It perhaps hasn't helped that Du Plessis has had his hands full with off-field matters.

He sat in on the Kagiso Rabada appeal hearing on Monday, while he was also involved in the investigations into the altercation between David Warner and Quinton de Kock in Durban.

Du Plessis is not using any of that as an excuse for his poor form, though.

"It does take time, that’s an honest reflection," he said.

"The hearing was a lot of time, but I see that as part of my role as captain - you need to stand by your team and back your players up. I’ll do that to the best of my ability.

"If I can have one per cent of influence on that then great, but it’s more to show that I’m there with them.

"Then it’s crucial to find a couple of minutes to have your own space. That’s the challenge that all captains have. But I’m used to that and I enjoy that so there are no complaints."

Play on Thursday starts at 10:30.

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  cape town  |  cricket
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