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AFP
June 25, 2019

Dejected SA skipper hopes to fix team’s problems

Sports

AFP
June 25, 2019

LONDON: If Faf du Plessis were Sarfraz Ahmed, he would have lost his job by Monday morning, writes Khalid Hussain.

After all he was at the helm of a catastrophic South African World Cup campaign that ended on Sunday here at Lord’s with a 49-run defeat against Pakistan. After having won just one of their previous six World Cup matches, Du Plessis’ South Africa desperately needed to win Sunday’s game to stay alive in the hunt for a place in the tournament’s semi-finals but once again failed to give their best.

So will he resign as South Africa captain after leading the team to its worst ever performance in World Cup history? Du Plessis didn’t give any hint about it. “I love captaining this team, and the fact that we are playing way, way below our potential, is not something, as I said, it’s not something that sits with me well,” he said after yet another defeat for his team,” said a dejected du Plessis during a post-match press conference at Lord’s.

“There’s too much pride for me, and that’s why — I mean, I’m trying as much as I can, but unfortunately not everything is in my hands. You know, if I could, I would get my wand out and get some runs on the table for our batters, but I can’t, unfortunately.

“So it is a challenge, and my character is one that will try and fix as many problems as I can and try and control the areas that I can, but unfortunately, I can’t control everything. “So yeah, I have to make sure that I put my head on my pillow at night knowing I’ve done everything in the buildup to that match and then just trust the players to perform.”

The captain hoped South Africa will restore some confidence and pride in their final two matches. “We need to try and get stronger and better, I thought before today, even though we are losing, I did feel that there was an upwards curve in the cricket that we were playing.

“We started doing more things right since the Afghanistan game. Then in the New Zealand game, we played a good game of cricket.” “We need to try and make sure we can get stronger and better and we want to see an upwards curve in the cricket we are playing.

“We started doing more things right since the Afghanistan game and then in the New Zealand game.” Du Plessis admitted that his team’s has been low on self-belief.

“It’s a confidence thing. Guys are playing with low confidence and making more mistakes,” he said. “It chips away at your confidence. It chips away at your ego. It chips away at you as a player,” he said.

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