Faf du Plessis talks to the media during the group stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Pakistan and South Africa at Lords on June 23, 2019 in London, England. File photo: IDI VIA GETTY IMAGES/CHRISTOPHER LEE
Faf du Plessis talks to the media during the group stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Pakistan and South Africa at Lords on June 23, 2019 in London, England. File photo: IDI VIA GETTY IMAGES/CHRISTOPHER LEE

With the full tour of India just around the corner‚ Faf du Plessis will continue in his role as the Proteas Test captain but his future as the white-ball leader remains unclear.

Cricket SA’s acting director of cricket, Corrie van Zyl, said upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) engagements in the form of the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia and the 2023 World Cup in India mean that a different leadership trajectory is required for those tournaments.

The T20 World Cup will start in October 2020‚ giving Cricket SA just over a year to get a leadership group and a nucleus of core players in place.

“We’re also looking forward to 2023 and we’re in need of a strategy that’s geared towards that year. In terms of appointing the captain‚ we will look at how we approach that and we’re going to be having a selection meeting soon to confirm this‚” Van Zyl said.

“Is Faf going to be the captain?

“He’s going to be the captain of the Test team but we’ll talk about the white-ball strategy leading into 2023 and how that will affect decision-making.”

At 35‚ Du Plessis has not been just a capable leader but one of the team’s best batsmen.

In a disastrous World Cup where SA were seventh in the 10-team tournament with only three wins in nine matches‚ Du Plessis was SA’s top run-getter with 387 runs at 64.5 with a 100 and three 50s.

His lone success could not mask a desperately dire performance‚ especially with the bat. He was SA’s only batsman in the top 20 run-makers in 12th place. Rassie van der Dussen’s middle-order heroics saw him make 311 runs at 62 to be in 22nd place, while Quinton de Kock was two positions below him with 305 runs at 38.5.

Those statistics alone highlight SA’s World Cup batting failure and how it scuppered their tournament participation before it even begun.

It is clear SA are in need of a new leader for the next ICC tournaments‚ but Du Plessis still picks himself on the strength of his batting alone.

SA’s tour of India starts with the first of three T20 internationals on September 15‚ followed by three Tests and three ODIs.