MANCHESTER – Faf du Plessis held discussions with some of the England players to garner information on Ottis Gibson, who is set to take over from Russell Domingo as the next Proteas coach.
Cricket South Africa have yet to say when they will announce the new coach, but widespread reports have named Gibson as the man to take charge.
And Du Plessis, who has never worked with him, sounded out some of England’s players about him.
“They have given me positive feedback,” said Du Plessis following the 177-run defeat in the fourth Test on Monday.
“The players are good judges, and they will give honest opinions on the reflections of a guy who will work as head coach. If he is going to be the guy, then we’ll have to learn about each other, and that relationship will take time.”
Gibson is in his second stint as England’s bowling coach, having previously performed the role between 2007 and 2009.
His only head-coaching role came with the West Indies between 2010 and 2014, with the victory in the 2012 World T20 tournament his most noteworthy achievement.
Du Plessis said the five-man selection panel – that includes two former Proteas coaches in Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons – did consult with him about who he felt should be the South African coach.
“First was when we were asked if we were happy, and we said we were. The panel’s decision was to see if there was someone out there to take the team forward, and I said Russell was doing a good job, but if there was someone out there who can challenge the team more, then, by all means, have a look… I don’t know where they are at the moment.”
Gibson’s current boss, Trevor Bayliss, was none the wiser about Gibson’s future. “There’s nothing been finalised yet. I’m at a loss at the moment, whether it’s a go-ahead, we haven’t heard for sure. By all accounts, it sounds like it,” said Bayliss.
“I think with all these things, you look at the positives – someone from the England set-up is being looked at for a higher job somewhere.”