Will SA's Faf du Plessis play in T20 World Cup?
Faf du Plessis recently led Royal Challengers Bangalore to the playoffs of the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. He was the chief architect of RCB's success, having slammed 468 runs at 31.20. Notably, Faf last played for South Africa in February 2021 in a Test against Pakistan. Former pacer Morne Morkel believes Faf should feature for SA in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
- Faf does not have a national contract with Cricket South Africa at the moment.
- He did not find a spot for the 2021 T20 World Cup despite proving his mettle in global leagues.
- As stated, the 37-year-old played his last T20I in December 2020 against England.
- It remains to be seen if he earns a call-up to the side ahead of the tournament.
Faf was a vital cog in South Africa's batting line-up across formats until the 2019 50-over World Cup. He slammed 4,163, 5,507, and 1.528 runs in 69 Tests, 143 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, respectively. Faf has a total of 23 international tons. In fact, he remains the only South Africa player to have registered a century each in all three formats.
Faf saw teams get into a bidding war for him in the IPL 2022 Auction. He was sold to RCB for a whopping Rs. 7 crore. Faf had a terrific IPL 2021 campaign where he helped Chennai Super Kings win the title. He finished as RCB's leading run-scorer in the season. Overall, the right-handed batter has racked up 3,403 runs from 116 IPL games.
Faf holds the record for smashing the highest individual score by a South African batter in T20I cricket. He is the only Proteas player to have slammed a T20I ton as captain. His 119-run knock came against West Indies in January 2015.
Faf led South Africa in 115 internationals. Under him, the Proteas won 70 and lost 40 matches. A total of three games were drawn, while one resulted in a tie. Faf has also led in 95 T20s across franchise cricket. He has 2,835 runs at an average of 34.57 and a strike rate of 134.23 in the format as captain.
The inclusion of Faf in the XI for the T20 World Cup will be a boon for SA. And, he has the required form. Since 2020, he has been South Africa's second-highest run-scorer in T20 cricket after Quinton de Kock. According to former SA captain Graeme Smith, "the team has to decide how much time he needs to spend with the team."