I’m not retiring yet, says Faf Du Plessis

Port Elizabeth, Jan 21 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/21/2020 9:46:37 AM IST

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis says he will remain in the role until the end of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Du Plessis’ side slipped 2-1 down with one match to play in the four-Test series against England after an innings-and-53-run defeat in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa have lost seven of their last eight Tests, while Du Plessis has averaged under 30 in Test cricket across the last two years with only two hundreds in 19 games.

“I have heard the rumours of possible retirement but I have been pretty clear and consistent with the message that the T20 World Cup is the time-frame I am looking for,” said Du Plessis, whose side will be looking to salvage a series draw by winning the fourth Test in Johannesburg from Friday.

“There is obviously one big Test for this team that we need to focus on and, for me, it’s important we keep driving forward and making sure we apply ourselves to win. There are points [in the World Test Championship] so every Test means a lot. After that there is a series in the West Indies and that is it for Test cricket.”

“Most probably after that, Test cricket will be something that won’t see me. That’s a decision I will make then. I can’t leave the team when they need me most - but I can’t do it forever.”

South Africa will be shorn of Kagiso Rabada for the final Test at Wanderers, with the seamer picking up a one-match ban after collecting a fourth demerit point inside 24 months for his zealous celebration following the dismissal of Joe Root on day one at St George’s Park.

“It is a big frustration and disappointment - he is our best bowler and it is not the first time we have lost him in what will be a crucial game for us,” said Rabada, who was also suspended from South Africa’s second Test against England at Trent Bridge in 2017.

“We are already a bit light on experience in our Test side and he will be a huge loss. But those are the cards we have been dealt and we have to make the best of it. There is no using excuses. We have to regroup, have some firm chats about where we need to get better and make sure we are moving forward.”

South Africa had England 148-4 in the third Test before Ollie Pope (135no) and Ben Stokes (120) shared a stand of 203 as the tourists progressed to 499-9 declared.

The Proteas were then dismissed for 209 and 237, losing 10 wickets for 103 runs on day four, including their final four in the first innings for one run in just 25 minutes.


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