South Africa batsman, Faf du Plessis, has announced his retirement from Test cricket. du Plessis, who played 69 Tests for South Africa, announced his retirement from the format on Wednesday. The right-hander captained his country in 36 Tests and scored 10 Test centuries for the Proteas.
The first of those hundreds came in a memorable debut against Australia at Adelaide Oval. Curbing his naturally attacking instincts, he scored a gritty and unbeaten 110 off 376 deliveries to salvage a draw, allowing South Africa to seal a series victory in the following match.
It was the kind of resilience that would come to define his Test career.
He would later become the only South Africa captain to lead his side to a Test series victory over Australia both home and away. The 36-year-old bows out of the format with an average of 40.02 and a high score of 199. That high score came just two months ago as he helped South Africa to a total of 621 against Sri Lanka at Centurion.
du Plessis will continue to be available for national selection in limited-overs cricket.
“It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all,” du Plessis said in a statement posted on social media. “Uncertain were the times, but they brought clarity for me in many respects. My heart is clear, and the time is right to walk into a new chapter. It has been an honor to play for my country in all the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket.”
“If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would play 69 Test matches for South Africa and captain the side, I wouldn’t have believed them. I stand in a place of utmost gratitude for a Test career full of blessings bestowed on me.”
du Plessis says he takes pride in what he is today. He further said, “Every high and low has shaped me into the man I am proud to stand as today. In all things, those instances worked towards the good of who I believe I am today.”
“The next two years are ICC T20 World Cup years. Because of this, my focus is shifting to this format, and I want to play as much of it as possible around the world so that I can be the best player I can possibly be. I strongly believe I have a lot to offer the Proteas in this format. This does not mean that ODI cricket is no longer in the plans, I’m just making T20 cricket the priority in the short team”.