A look at recently-retired Faf du Plessis’ Test career
Faf du Plessis played the 3rd most tests as a South African captain (36) and scored the 10th most test runs for South Africa (4163).
With 78 & 110* on debut against Australia at Adelaide in 2012, Faf du Plessis had baptism by fire in his 1st international assignment and he came out with flying colours.
For all he did achieve as a batsman and South African captain, given his initial performances, du Plessis’ tally of 4163 runs from 69 test matches at an average of over 40 with the highest of 199, including 10 centuries and 21 half centuries, still left a lot to be desired.
He was one of those batsmen who had the ability to reach 10000 test runs but could never really perform with the consistency many expected of him. And, mind you, those expectations were formed on the basis of some breathtaking performances that he delivered at the international stage.
In ODI cricket, Faf du Plessis made over 5000 runs from 143 matches at an average of 47.47 and a strike rate of 86 – excellent numbers. He struck 12 centuries and 35 half centuries in the 50-over format and also led South Africa quite successfully.
In T20I cricket, he featured for the Proteas in 50 matches and made 1528 runs at an average of 35.53 and a strike rate of 134.38, with the best of 119.
Calls for du Plessis stepping down as captain snowballed when South Africa had a poor showing at the 2019 ODI World Cup. However, a lot of that was also due to several injuries that the team suffered, not least that of Dale Steyn.
With South Africa dishing out ordinary performances in test cricket as well including a clean sweep against India and a loss against England at home, Faf du Plessis decided to step down as captain. A few months later, he retired from test cricket with a view to concentrate on white-ball cricket, with 2 T20 World Cup scheduled back to back.
Some other notable performances from the blade of the Faf in test cricket include 137 against New Zealand at Port Elizabeth, 134 against India at Johannesburg, 98 against Zimbabwe at Harare, 112 against New Zealand at Centurion, 118 against Australia at Adelaide, 135 versus Bangladesh at Bloemfontein and his career best of 199 against Sri Lanka at Centurion, which came in his fourth-last test.