- Cricket Winner | February 23, 2021 | 9:38 am
Faf Du Plessis, South Africa’s former captain, has announced his retirement from Test Cricket last week, after playing his final Test in Pakistan.
He announced his retirement in the hope of focusing on the upcoming World Cups.
His Test retirement has been in discussion for a while, as Faf Du Plessis has been contemplating the decision for a few months.
Faf Du Plessis retires after a magnificent year, in which he made 199 against Sri Lanka and got a chance to tour Pakistan.
Faf Du Plessis made his debut back in 2012 at Adelaide and became an instant star helping South Africa secure a draw with a spectacular second innings century.
He later took the side as stand-in skipper to another win in Australia a few years later and shortly took over the full-time role as the leader of the side.
His retirement marks the end of a golden generation of players, including Ab De Villiers, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, and Vernon Philander.
Together, the group of players won many Tests overseas and kept South African competitive after Graeme Smith and Jacque Kallis’s retirements.
In particular, Faf Du Plessis enjoyed playing the Australians, finishing with some good numbers against them.
Let us now look at some of his best knocks in Test Cricket.
110 Not Out Vs. Australia, Adelaide 2012
By 2012, Faf Du Plessis cemented his spot in the limited-overs sides and came to Australia for his Test debut.
The Test went in the Australians favor, while Faf Du Plessis was the last to be dismissed in the first innings for 78.
By the time South Africa got to bat again, Australia had extended their advantage and took the game out of reach, setting a target of 430.
South Africa was left with nearly 150 overs to bat and was quickly reduced to 77 for four wickets.
Faf Du Plessis exhibited his patience with a massive task on hand and faced 376 balls for his 110 runs.
He copped many sledges from the Australians and tired the Australian bowlers as South Africa pulled off an unlikely draw.
134 Vs. India, Johannesburg, 2013
Before this Test, Faf Du Plessis spent most of his time coming in at six or seven.
Chasing 458, South Africa got off to a good start and decided to promote Faf Du Plessis to number four.
The change in order led to a nail-biting Test, with Du Plessis sharing a brief partnership with Jacque Kallis and a game-changing 205 run partnership with Ab De Villiers.
The two complimented each other well, with Du Plessis defending and De Villiers going on the attack.
Together, they kept the target within reach and nearly pulled off a record chase.
The game shifted into a fascinating final session, and by the time Faf Du Plessis was run-out, South Africa needed sixteen to win.
He faced 309 balls and batted for more than six hours, allowing the game to go deep.
After his dismissal, the tail decided to block out the remaining overs and accepted a draw.
118 Not Out Vs. Australia, Adelaide 2016
After a dream debut series in Australia, Faf Du Plessis returned to the country as a stand-in skipper.
Under his leadership, South Africa looked undisturbed despite Dale Steyn’s injury in the first Test.
South Africa won the first two Tests and came to Adelaide with the series sealed.
Despite winning the first two Tests, the skipper didn’t have a great series on a personal note.
He struggled with the bat and faced criticism, a fine, and a near ban for a ball-tampering incident after allegedly using mint on the ball.
The incident helped his resolve, as he fought seaming and swinging pink ball to make one of his best centuries.
Du Plessis took the score from 44 for three wickets to 250.
Though the innings were of high quality, it wasn’t sufficient as Australia won the Test.
120 Vs. Australia, Johannesburg 2018
South Africa conquered Australia on their last three visits to the nation but struggled to win at home against the same side.
Hosting Australia, Du Plessis and his team had their task cut-out to change history, and the series turned out to be very eventful for various reasons.
Australia won the first Test, and there was an altercation between David Warner and De Kock.
The second Test saw Kagiso Rabada brushing shoulders with Steve Smith.
They won the second and third Tests, with the third Test involving the sandpaper incident that saw Australia lose their senior players.
They took on a broken and sad Australia in the final Test and completely dominated.
They took a 267 run lead after the first innings and decided to bat again.
Choosing to bat again, Faf Du Plessis made 120 to further strengthen the lead and set up a 492-run win.
199 Vs. Sri Lanka, Centurion, 2020
Ever since the defeat to Sri Lanka in 2019, Faf Du Plessis struggled with the bat.
As a leader, he faced pressure from the administration and later stood down as a skipper.
With a string of low scores, doubts were beginning to come up on Faf Du Plessis’s ability.
Playing Sri Lanka in the first Test, Faf Du Plessis managed to erase whatever questions have been put up.
He made 199 against a Sri Lankan attack that kept losing bowlers, but the innings helped prove his quality and ability.
The former skipper kept his place in the side but only managed to play five more innings before calling it a day.
Du Plessis has been South Africa’s crisis man and a role model with his cool head and leadership abilities throughout his career.
He toured Pakistan, and after a tough series, decided to move on from Test Cricket.