South African cricket is going through some of its darkest moments in history. The Proteas have never been whitewashed by India before. The last time they lost two consecutive Tests by more than an innings which was 83 years ago. They also had a dismal World Cup and the series against Sri Lanka was complete disarray altogether.
The skipper Faf du Plessis feels responsible for his side. “If you see, it’s a very, very young team. How do I see my journey unfold with this team? I think I can help with the transitioning period. Before that wasn’t the case. Graeme Smith was a very successful captain. After that, it was like what’s going to happen. I hope to make that process smoother, identifying the next leaders, identifying the next captain. For the time being, it’s about the process. It’s a very young team and a very young leadership group,” he said on Tuesday.
It’s a responsibility he’s forced to shoulder. “It’s tough. We are used to playing a lot of experienced players in Test cricket. Players who have played 30-40 Tests. And now you look at it and it’s 5, 6, 7 or 10 Tests. It does feel like a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to try and build the team.
“It’s just the place I am in right now. It’s unfortunate but someone has to do it and that falls on my shoulder,” says the captain.
“When you go real tough times like this, you identify characters who will drive the team forward. You look for personalities that you see in the team in the next five-six years’ time. It’s a tough place to start right in the beginning.
“The position we find ourselves in that we have a lot of experience out of the Test team. That process will take a bit longer. Right now it’s about finding personalities,” Faf du Plessis says.
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