CAPE TOWN – Faf du Plessis would be the first to admit that 2019 has not been one of his better years.
Even though the Proteas captain claimed the coveted SA Cricketer of the Year during this period, it has always been about the team’s performance for Du Plessis. And in that regard it has been a harrowing experience. From a first-ever Test series defeat to an Asian team on home soil when Sri Lanka came to South Africa and took the spoils 2-0, followed by the World Cup debacle in the United Kingdom to ultimately being whitewashed by India 3-0 in the Test series.
From previously being “Captain Marvellous” with comparisons being made to England’s legendary skipper Mike Brearley, there were suddenly questions being posed about Du Plessis’ future as the Proteas leader.
Temba Bavuma was being pushed heavily in some circles as a potential successor, while Quinton de Kock led the Proteas to a credible 1-1 drawn T20 series result in India.
The pressure was certainly starting to show on the previously ultra-cool Du Plessis, while the challenges Cricket SA were facing at boardroom level also weighed heavily on the 35-year-old’s shoulders.