Faf's struggle for runs of no concern to SA

2018-03-29 10:51
Faf du Plessis (Gallo)

Johannesburg - The Proteas to order batsmen have all chipped in at some point of the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia. 

AB de Villiers is the leading run scorer in the series having been in sublime touch, Dean Elgar's marathon knock set up a win in Cape Town, Aiden Markram has a 50 and a 100 to his name and Quinton de Kock has started to rediscover form too.

Even Hashim Amla, who has had a poor series by his standards, contributed with a valuable 56 in Port Elizabeth that helped get the Proteas into a winning position there. 

The one area of concern for South Africa in the batting department, though, comes in the form of skipper Faf du Plessis. 

In three Tests so far, Du Plessis has batted six times, though one of those innings saw him finish 2* as the Proteas got over the line in PE. 

Du Plessis' series numbers do not make for good reading. 

In six innings, he has scored just 55 runs at an average of 11

It is a return nowhere near mirroring the high standards that the skipper sets for himself. 

In the second innings in Cape Town, Du Plessis looked like he might be getting over his slump. He showed good concentration and application to get to 20 - his highest score of the series - before he was trapped LBW by Nathan Lyon.

The 33-year-old acknowledged before the Newlands Test that he needed to start contributing on the scoreboard, but even after two more failures coach Ottis Gibson is not losing any sleep over the form of his skipper.

"It’s not a concern. He is our leader. Of course, we would like him to make runs and I’m sure he would like to make some more runs, but his job goes far beyond making runs for us," Gibson told local media this week.

"Runs are important, don’t get me wrong, but his leadership is crucial to the way we play our cricket as well."

Gibson added that there were a couple of players, including Du Plessis, who could do with a break following the completion of the series.

South Africa are 2-1 up with only the Wanderers Test to come, and if they avoid defeat there they will become the first Proteas side since re-admission to beat Australia on home soil.

"It’s been a long summer and we’ve had a lot of injuries," Gibson said.

"There are still quite a few broken bodies on the field. Faf is being held together, AB’s fingers are still dodgy … we’ve got a few niggles that we need to get sorted out."

The fourth Test starts on Friday.



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