Proteas

Faf: Proteas form not due to captaincy

Faf du Plessis (Gallo)
Faf du Plessis (Gallo)

Cape Town - Faf du Plessis is growing into his role as Proteas skipper. 

Of that, there is no doubt. 

In the absence of team-mate and close friend AB de Villiers, Du Plessis has guided the ODI side to a 4-0 series lead against rivals Australia with just Wednesday's clash at Newlands remaining. 

Du Plessis was also at the helm when the Proteas returned to winning ways in the Test arena with a 1-0 series win at home to New Zealand. 

All of a sudden, there is a sense of optimism accompanying South African cricket and that didn't look likely following Test series defeats to India and England, a failed World T20 campaign and a disappointing Tri-Series in the West Indies which also included Australia. 

The Proteas have been clinical in this ODI series, thriving in all departments with Du Plessis having been vocal throughout on the attitude that has been embraced by all members of the squad. 

It is an attitude of accountability, hard work and a collective goal to keep improving and right the wrongs of times past. 

It is hard to not attribute that success, in some small way at least, to Du Plessis. 

But the 32-year-old said at Newlands on Tuesday that the performance of the team in this series was not down to his leadership.

"No, it’s not my captaincy," Du Plessis said.

"I think it's just a general belief in the squad. As I've mentioned to you guys countless times the direction of the team is on a different path.

"The individuals certainly don't think it's an individual game anymore and at any stage if they do think that they will get challenged.

"That’s why the team is doing so well. The squad is in a really good place and the guys are extremely hungry to perform and that makes it easy to captain."

Du Plessis did, however, acknowledge that he felt at his best when he was leading the team.

"It’s important for me to keep driving that and that’s something I try and live every day … try and make sure that I do challenge guys every single day to try and get better and put in performances that will make us a really good team," he said.

Play on Wednesday starts at 13:30. 

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England 159/5 (52 ov)
Pakistan 326
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England 159/5 (52 ov)
Pakistan 326
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