Kepler Wessels has praised Faf du Plessis’ leadership during the Proteas’ 340-run drubbing of England at Trent Bridge.
Du Plessis missed the first Test at Lord’s after the birth of his first child, and his absence was felt as the Proteas went down by 211 runs to England under interim skipper Dean Elgar.
Wessels did not hold back on his opinion regarding the captaincy position and complimented Du Plessis’ return as the turning point in the series.
‘The Proteas looked like a different team to the one that was well-beaten by England during the first test match at Lord’s,’ Wessels said in a column for Supersport.com.
‘All credit must go to Faf du Plessis for this victory. His absence was clearly visible at Lord’s during the first test where the Proteas looked lost.’
Du Plessis’ typically aggressive approach to captaincy was on display when he elected to bat first under cloudy Nottingham skies which favoured the bowlers.
‘The other bold decision that paid dividends for Du Plessis was to bat first in overcast conditions that appeared perfect for bowling on day one.’
The former Proteas captain also lauded the decision to move Quinton de Kock up the order, a move that yielded a valuable 81-ball 68 in the first innings. He did say, however, that management should consider batting the wicketkeeper-batsman at No 5 to guard against long periods in the field.
‘De Kock batted four in this match. That may be one position too high for him, considering that he has to keep wicket as well. I would like Du Plessis himself to bat four and De Kock five,’ added Wessels.
‘This will give De Kock enough respite in case South Africa have to spend a long time in the field during their first innings.’
The victory against England means Du Plessis has won eight of 12 matches played as captain, with his lone defeat coming in the dead-rubber against Australia in Adelaide.
The Proteas next assignment is the third Test against England on 27 July at The Oval.