Analysing Faf du Plessis’ career upon his Test retirement

The analysis of Faf du Plessis career will be something along the lines of great batsmen and superb captain in a declining team.

Faf du Plessis bid farewell to Test cricket, just two weeks ago, in order to focus on limited overs cricket. As the T20I World Cup approaches, he felt that it was the best decision to focus on just that. He took over the Test captaincy in 2016, despite only debuting in late 2012. In this article, we will be analysing Faf du Plessis’ international career to date, both as a player and as captain.

Following the farewell of AB de Villiers from international cricket, this will be another blow for the South African cricket team who is constantly declining. South Africa is currently ranked sixth in Test cricket, fifth in ODI cricket, and fifth in T20I cricket.

Faf du Plessis’ record as a Test batsmen:

On Test match debut, against Australia in 2012, he scored a brilliant 110 to save the game for his side. He has played 69 Test matches for his side and averaged 40.03. Furthermore, he is the first player to score a hundred in a innings of a day night Test. His overall Test stats are as follows:

Matches Runs Average 100s 50s
Tests 69 4163 40.03 10 21

Faf du Plessis as a Test captain

Faf du Plessis was undoubtedly a great captain for South Africa. He is the third most capped, behind Graeme Smith and Hansie Cronje. Faf du Plessis took over the Test captaincy in 2016 and immediately won consecutive series in Australia and New Zealand. He also beat Sri Lanka at home in between those two series.

Faf du Plessis is only the second player to have scored century in all three formats of cricket as captain. In analysing Faf du Plessis’ career, we found that he record as captain is as follows:

India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) looks on as South Africa’s Faf du Plessis plays a shot during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and South Africa at The Holkar Cricket Stadium at Indore on October 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ INDRANIL MUKHERJEE —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE— (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Won 18 Tests out of 36
  • Won 25 T20Is out of 40
  • Won 28 ODIs out of 39

In Test cricket as captain, his won loss ratio is 1.2, only losing 15 games.


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To every rise, there is a downfall. For Faf du Plessis, the early exit and poor performance in the World Cup, and a Test series defeat at home against Sri Lanka turned out to be a major setback in his career as a captain. His last five test scores are not the best either. He scored only 17, 5, 23, 10, and 8 in his last five innings.

The Instagram post:

“It has been an honour to play for my country in all formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket. If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captained the side, I wouldn’t have believed them. I stand in a place of utmost gratitude for a Test career full of blessings bestowed on me.”

Faf du Plessis received a great reception from many, including the ICC.

Indeed his great services to the South Africa’s cricket team both as captain and a player in Test would be missed!

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