Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis takes it on himself to revive SA amidst transitional phase
RANCHI – With South Africa going through tough and testing times after the retirements of some of their stalwarts, skipper Faf du Plessis is ready to take the responsibility on his shoulders "to try and build the team".
South Africa were handed their second successive Test series loss in India, after they had gone down 0-3 in the four-match affair on their previous tour in 2015.
They suffered a heavy defeat of an innings and 202 runs in the final Test in Ranchi, their second consecutive loss by the margin of an innings after having managed only 275 and 189 in response to India's 601/5 declared in the previous Test in Pune.
In the absence of some of their recent years' retirees – Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel – Du Plessis is left with an inexperienced, young team and he is ready to help and make the transition a smoother process.
"If you see, it's a very, very young team," du Plessis said after the final Test on Tuesday, 22 October. "How I see my journey unfold with this team? I think I can help with the transitioning period. Before that wasn't the case. Graeme Smith was a very successful captain. After that, it was like what's going to happen. I hope to make that process smoother.
"Identifying the next leaders. Identifying the next captain. For the time being, it's about the process. It's a very young team and a very young leadership group."
The 35-year-old realizes that it's a responsibility he has to shoulder. "It's tough. We are used to playing a lot of experienced players in Test cricket. Players who have played up of 30-40 Tests. And now you look at it and it's 5, 6, 7 or 10 Tests. It does feel like a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to try and build the team.
"It's just the place I am in right now. It's unfortunate but someone has to do it and that falls on my shoulder."
Du Plessis said that the focus would be on identifying individuals who could potentially be the long-term replacements for the yesteryear legends.
"When you go real tough times like this, you identify characters who will drive the team forward. You look for personalities that you see in the team in the next five-six years time. It's a tough place to start right in the beginning.
"The position we find ourselves in is that we have a lot of experience out of the Test team. That process will take a bit longer. Right now it's about finding personalities."
African News Agency (ANA)