I like Faf du Plessis. He's a good guy to have a chat with, be it socially or about cricket. In fact, he's arguably one of the deepest thinkers on the game in our country. Most importantly, the 35-year-old veteran is someone who leads from the front, bettering his overall Test batting average since becoming Proteas captain in mid2016. However, as an innovative, thoughtful tactician, Du Plessis' halo is starting to slip. That is becoming increasingly evident in the Test series against India, where the South Africans are looking increasingly listless. Du Plessis needs to take some of the blame...
I like Faf du Plessis. He's a good guy to have a chat with, be it socially or about cricket. In fact, he's arguably one of the deepest thinkers on the game in our country.

Most importantly, the 35-year-old veteran is someone who leads from the front, bettering his overall Test batting average since becoming Proteas captain in mid2016.

However, as an innovative, thoughtful tactician, Du Plessis' halo is starting to slip. That is becoming increasingly evident in the Test series against India, where the South Africans are looking increasingly listless. Du Plessis needs to take some of the blame for this situation.

There are numerous structural problems that are evident in the Proteas' setup at the moment: an over-reliance on Kagiso Rabada to take wickets, an impotent spin attack and a confidence-starved batting order.

This situation would be a bit more palatable if South Africa showed the familiar fight that was a feature of the great side under the leadership of Graeme Smith.

#ProteaFire, the social media-fication of the team's grit and determination, was still a feature in the early part of Du Plessis' captaincy. But then Ottis Gibson was appointed as national coach and with it came a fundamental change in team culture.

Perhaps it was his West Indian upbringing and his liberal outlook on the game, but Gibson put the “chill” in #ProteaFire. Du Plessis identified easily with Gibson's philosophy.

Steadily, there was less and less talk of typical South African fight. The national setup was a relaxed environment, one where work-life balance brought results. It sounds wonderful in theory, yet – and excuse my conservatism – that's just not the South African way. It's about being dogged, trying to make things happen and hanging in.

This current team isn't doing that. Du Plessis seems to be letting things drift. It's a bad fit for this team. We need #ProteaFire back.

Time for Faf to take charge_1

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