Du Plessis blasts ‘mediocre’ South Africa after World Cup exit

Faf du Plessis admitted South Africa’s limp World Cup exit was embarrassing as the furious captain branded his under-performing team “mediocre” and challenged them to take responsibility for their disastrous showing.

The Proteas cannot qualify for the semi-finals after slumping to a 49-run defeat against fellow strugglers Pakistan at Lord’s on Sunday.

With two games to play, South Africa have failed to make the knockout stages for only the second time.

The tame manner of their elimination was tough for Du Plessis to swallow as he watched his side struggle to 259-9 in response to Pakistan’s 308-7.

“The results we are dishing out at the moment, it’s tough. The way we played today is borderline embarrassing,” Du Plessis said.

“It started with our bowling. There were a lot of bad balls on a wicket where if you just bowled line and length it was going to be hard for them.

“It was a five out of 10 performance with the ball, then the same batting. We started nicely, got a partnership going, then wickets fall.

“We are a mediocre team at the moment because we are making the same mistakes. One step forward and two steps back is not a good team.”

Du Plessis said his players were suffering from a chronic lack of confidence.

The skipper top-scored for his team on Sunday with 63, but received little support as the Proteas played too cautiously, then threw their wickets away in a desperate bid to get back into the match.


“The guys are playing with low confidence and making the same mistakes. It just rolls on, it’s such a snowball effect,” he said.

“The real, honest answer is it chips away at you. You try really hard, then come back the next game and make the same mistakes. It chips away at your confidence and your ego as a player.”

Frustrated that South Africa, defeated in five of their seven World Cup matches, have only beaten minnows Afghanistan in the tournament, Du Plessis demanded his players show more desire to sort out their problems.

“As much as I can say, or the coach can say, the responsibility lies with the player to sort it out yourself if you are low on confidence,” he said.

“Everyone has played the game long enough to understand you go through highs and lows.”

‘Humiliating’

Du Plessis said the humiliating exit was the lowest point of his career, adding: “I’m a very proud player and captain. Playing for South Africa means a lot to me.

“There are people rightly and fairly criticising the team because we are not playing the cricket we should.

“It’s important myself, the coach and the senior players front up to this challenge.”

Du Plessis also blamed burnout for their woes after several South Africa players, including the skipper, played in this year’s Indian Premier League.

“It’s important we find space to rest our three-format players. They are playing a lot of cricket. That’s the one area I would have changed but it’s not in my hands,” he said.

Du Plessis said he would not walk away from the job.

“I’ve always said the most enjoyment I get from the game is captaining the side. The fact we are playing way below our potential is not something that sits well with me,” he said.

“I’m trying as hard as I can, but unfortunately not everything is down to me. My character is I will try to fix as many problems as I can.”

© Agence France-Presse

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Steven Griffiths 1
Guest Author
Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday