Consistency key for Du Plessis to be captain

2013-08-29 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Batsman Faf du Plessis says he must become more consistent in international cricket before he could be considered as ODI captain of the Proteas.

Du Plessis, the current T20 national captain, has been tipped to become South Africa’s next skipper in the 50-over format, with AB de Villiers seemingly struggling to juggle the roles of skipper, batsman and wicketkeeper.

However, in an interview with the ESPNcricinfo website, Du Plessis insisted he does not deserve the role just yet.

“My performances need to be better if I want to be considered as ODI captain. In Sri Lanka, I was under pressure to score runs and I knew that,” said Du Plessis.

Over the last year, Du Plessis has managed only two half-centuries in 21 matches — an unbeaten 62 against Netherlands in May, and a 72-ball 57 against New Zealand in January. He averages only 27,62 in 42 ODI games with a highest score of 72.

His lean patch extended to the shortest format as well, but Du Plessis ended the drought with a solid 85 in the last T20 on South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka last month, which is his highest score to date in all limited overs international cricket.

He also led South Africa to an historic 2-1 series win in the T20s — becoming the first South African captain to claim a series win in Sri Lanka.

Du Plessis’s leadership and decision making stood out in that series, after South Africa seemed to struggle under De Villiers in a 4-1 ODI series loss.

“I love captaining and adding value in that way. I like giving the talks that a captain gives and dealing with the high pressure times. I even like taking the flak of making decision myself, like when it comes to bowling changes. The captain needs to make tough decisions and I don’t mind making them,” explained Du Plessis.

Du Plessis’ next chance to impress in limited overs version will come in October and November when the Proteas play five ODIs and two T20s against Pakistan in Dubai. They also play two Tests there in October.

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