LONDON – The Proteas’ dreadful performances at the Cricket World Cup in the United Kingdom could set in motion a complete shake-up of the national team, but captain Faf du Plessis believes “it will happen naturally”.

South Africa have won just one out of six matches, with the four-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday virtually condemning them to also-rans status.

There has been an outcry on social media, with Proteas fans calling for Du Plessis, coach Ottis Gibson and convenor of selectors Linda Zondi to be axed.

Gibson stated on Wednesday evening in the aftermath that his contract runs until September and that “we will see what happens after that”, while Zondi’s term expires at the end of this World Cup.

Du Plessis, meanwhile, is part of a host of experienced players that are likely to retire from ODI’s anyway after this World Cup. JP Duminy and Imran Tahir announced their retirement plans prior to coming to England and Wales, while it expected that the skipper, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn will join them. 

“I think that (clear-out) will happen naturally with quite a few guys at the end of their careers. So, you’re probably getting three or four guys getting away from that,” Du Plessis explained.

“Depending on Cricket South Africa, I feel in terms of what they believe is a good way forward, they might want a complete change. But those are things you sit down and talk about.”

From the debris of this campaign, there have at least been some positives to emerge such as Rassie van der Dussen, both as a batsman and possible future Proteas leader, while the team still possesses very talented youngsters such as Aiden Markram (24), Kagiso Rabada (24), Lungi Ngidi (23) and Andile Phehlukwayo (23) within their ranks.

“Rassie has shown that he’s the real deal. I think he’s got leadership capabilities as well. He’s standing up to be a strong man in a big tournament for us,” Du Plessis said.

“Andile has done well as a young guy. Aiden, we know the kind of player he is. He showed signs that he can do it.

“What will naturally happen is you’ll probably lose six or seven players after this tournament.

“Whether you want to change more than that, no, I don’t think you need to do more than that. The young guys, I’ve really backed them this tournament. I think they’ve got a great future ahead of them.”

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@ZaahierAdams


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