Faf du Plessis will be remembered as one of SA’s best captains and his leadership (and batting) have contributed to some unlikely and dramatic victories. He has held his nerve in extreme circumstances and backed his strategy, and his teammates. Just as he did during the fourth innings against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead. Du Plessis has always favoured the “attack the tailender, give the batsman a single” approach. On several occasions he has been a little too quick to do so. It is a strategy fraught with risk because it is a backward step, it concedes the advantage. To the batsmen in the middle, it is evidence of concern from the fielding team and their bowlers. It doubles the determination of the “batsman” and emboldens the courage and determination of the tailender. Just last season, when India were 209/6 at Centurion, Du Plessis backed off against Virat Kohli only to see his opposite number plunder 153 and lead his team to 307. It didn’t matter back then, but his determined belief in ...

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