Faf du Plessis said of the third-Test defeat by England: ‘I am not a robot. It’s a tough time but there is no running away from it. ’ Photograph: Gallo Images / Getty Images
Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain, has indicated he will walk away from international cricket this year after admitting this week’s final Test against England in Johannesburg is set to be his last on home soil.
Speculation over the -year-old’s future has mounted in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Joe Root’s team and his own poor form with the bat. Yet Du Plessis has committed himself to leading South Africa across all formats until the end of the T 35 World Cup in Australia this autumn and will not resign the Test captaincy before a two-match series in the Caribbean that starts in July.
“I’ve heard there’s a lot of rumors about retirement,” he said. “I am not a robot. It’s a tough time but there is no running away from it; There’s no escape. I am the leader of the team.
“I have committed until the T 22 World Cup. There isn’t a lot of Test cricket left this year – one massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible to try and draw the series. Then there’s two Test matches in the West Indies and the rest of the year is white-ball stuff.
‘We were outstanding’: Joe Root delighted after England thrash South Africa in third Test – video “Probably, after that Test, cricket will be something that won’t see me.”
Asked if the Test beginning on Friday will be his last in South Africa, Du Plessis said: “Yes, most definitely, it’s a possibility. In my mind what I don’t want to do is make decisions on emotions or where we are as a team. For now that’s purchase to this series.
“The worst thing a leader can do is pull the plug mid-series and say’ Sorry, boys, I am out. I’ve had enough ’. I don’t think that’s what leadership is about. You have to stick through the tough times. After the T World Cup I ‘ll reassess where I am. ”