Now, we have an answer from Faf Du Plessis, and it is a positive one concerning his inclusion in the Proteas team. During an interview with NDTV, the former South African captain said that he was in conversation with current Proteas white ball coach Rob Walter.
This talk went beyond the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, Du Plessis can return to the game for the next edition of T20 World Cup which will take place in West Indies and America in 2024.
“I’m very grateful that the new coach has reached out to tell me that would like me to be a part (of the team). At the moment, it’s just conversations to talk about where I’m at physically,” said Du Plessis.
There is definite outcome yet of that conversation because international level commitment requires a hard-core fitness ethic. Du Plessis, 38, is one of the fittest player going around in the IPL.
Despite his age, he has been phenomenal in the field which is pedigree of every South African cricketer. They are generally most agile, quick and powerful cricketers.
Du Plessis last played an ODI game in 2019 and a T20 match against England in 2020. In the 2019 World Cup, he scored 387 runs in 9 matches, most by an South African player in that tournament.
Talking about his injury and overcoming physical fitness obstacles, Du Plessis said, “I’ve been struggling with a tennis elbow for about a year now. I’ve had some injections into that. It’s a conversation where I feel like you got to look at the balance of where I’m at physically, emotionally, and mentally. Right now, that balance is really good.”
Since his retirement from international cricket in 2021, Du Plessis has scored runs in T20 games all around the world. First time we saw him playing in Big Bash League for Perth Scorchers, then he lead the Joburg Super Kings in SA20 League.
“At times, when I feel my body is getting sore and achy, there is that rest and recovery period. T20 cricket is a format that allows me to play as often as I want,” Faf elaborated how T20 format, despite being fast paced, gives him enough time to sustain his energy and fitness.
However, a 50 over game demands much more perseverance, the players are required to play long innings, batting and fielding throughout the day. Good thing about players that Men’s ODI World Cup will be happening during the beginning of winter season in India.
Reflecting on the changes of ODI cricket, Du Plessis said, “50-over cricket is a different story. Obviously, it’s a longer format. You’re on the field a lot more.”
It is not entirely confirmed that we will see Faf in green and goldens but the talk is building, there is a definite optimism because he has been in superb form and the experience of leading an IPL team on Indian venues will definitely come handy in the World Cup.
“We’ll cross that bridge after the IPL, moving into the latter part of the year. More than anything, we’ve spoken about the T20 World Cup next year in July, which is something we both want to make happen. That will be the focus point,” Du Plessis concluded with a certain optimism that it could happen.