Faf still has key Proteas role to play after captaincy

Faf du Plessis (TEAMtalk)
Faf du Plessis (TEAMtalk)

Playing without the captaincy could allow Faf du Plessis to have even more of an influence on young players in the Proteas set-up. 

That is the view of batsman Rassie van der Dussen, who has been in the national set-up since the end of 2018 and came in under Du Plessis' leadership. 

Du Plessis has since stepped away from international captaincy entirely, but he remains committed to representing his country in all formats. 

Quinton de Kock has taken the reins in both limited overs formats while a decision on the new Test captain is yet to be announced, but in Du Plessis the Proteas have an experienced campaigner who can continue to influence the newcomers in the squad. 

This past summer, Proteas cricket entered a new era under the leadership of head coach Mark Boucher and Director of Cricket Graeme Smith, and with the T20 World Cup in Australia still tentatively scheduled for later this year, Du Plessis could have a major role to play in that transition. 

"Knowing Faf well and getting to know him well over the last 18 months, captaincy is an awesome responsibility, but you carry so much on your shoulders," Van der Dussen told Sport24.

"You get scrutinised and it always comes back to the captain and you've got to deal with that as well as the praise that you get.

"Maybe that load off Faf's shoulders, not that he ever struggled to carry it, might open him up a bit more to influence young batters coming in where maybe in the past he just didn't have enough time to attend to those things.

"He has a wealth of wisdom that young batters can feed off and that I have fed off in the last 18 months.

"It's a great thing that he's still involved and keen to play all formats. I think it's going to be a rest year for him."

Van der Dussen has now broken through into the Protall three formats for the Proteas, making his Test debut against England in December, and he remembers the immense impact Du Plessis had on him when he first entered the international stage. 

"Faf was a big one for me when I started, but all of the senior guys made me feel really at home. Faf was definitely someone that I went to for advice," he said.

"Faf and myself are not dissimilar players. I can relate to what he did in his game and his mental strength and everything that goes with that."

With global sport, and sport in South Africa in particular, still halted as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Proteas' tour to West Indies in July is in serious doubt. 

The T20 World Cup, too, is not certain to go ahead.  

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