23 June 2019

South Africa: Faf - Proteas Results Are Becoming 'Embarrassing'

Photo: Faf Du Plessis/Facebook
South African cricket player Faf Du Plessis (file photo).

Lord's — Proteas captain Faf du Plessis acknowledges that his side's results at the 2019 World Cup have become "embarrassing".

South Africa were officially eliminated from this year's showpiece on Sunday when they lost by 49 runs to Pakistan at Lord's.

They went into the match with the slimmest chances of securing a semi-final spot, but that went up in smoke with one of the worst bowling performances this side has dished up in some time.

The Proteas quicks missed their lines and lengths all day, and it resulted in Pakistan posting a score of 308/7 on a wicket that Du Plessis acknowledged afterwards was tough to score on if the ball was delivered in the right places.

It is the latest in a string of poor results for the Proteas, who have now lost five of their seven fixtures at the tournament.

A solitary win over Afghanistan is the only success story of the campaign, while losses to England, Bangladesh, India and New Zealand preceded the latest disappointment against Pakistan.

Du Plessis, who has long been considered a superb leader in South African cricket circles, admits that this is the lowest point of his captaincy.

"Definitely," he agreed at Lord's on Sunday evening.

"I'm a very proud captain and playing for South Africa means a lot to me.

"The results that we have been dishing out at the moment ... it's really tough. It's becoming a little bit embarrassing.

"We're trying, but it's just not good enough."

A strong character naturally, Du Plessis concedes that the last few weeks have been tough on him from a mental perspective.

"I'm human as well so it keeps chipping away at me," he said.

"I don't have an opportunity to go anywhere. It's important that the coach, me and the senior players are the guys that front up to this challenge. That's when your players need you the most.

"Right now, I need to be there for the other players."

It is, most certainly, South Africa's worst ever performance at a Cricket World Cup and Du Plessis knows that it could taint his legacy.

"I've always said that the most enjoyment I get from the game and playing for South Africa is captaining the side," he said.

"The fact that we are playing way below our potential is not something that sits well. There is too much proud for me.

"I'm trying as much as I can, but not everything is in my hands. If I could, I would get my wand out and get some runs on the table for our batters, but I can't unfortunately.

"It is a challenge and my character is one that will try and fix as many problems as I can.

"I have to make sure that I put my head on my pillow at night knowing that I've done everything I can in the build-up to that match."

Du Plessis top-scored for South Africa on Sunday with a knock of 63.

The Proteas must now turn their attention to their dead rubber against Sri Lanka in Durham on Friday.

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...

Source: Sport24

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