Faf’s injury secret blessing?

2016-04-28 18:58
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

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 optimistic scenario.

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 such status.

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.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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