Former South African captain Faf du Plessis has decided to call time on his Test Career and announced his retirement from the longest format of the game on Wednesday. The 36-year-old played 69 Tests for the Proteas scoring 4163 runs with 10 hundreds and 21 half-centuries.
He announced his retirement via a statement on his official Instagram account. He stated that "It has been a year of refinement in the fire for us all. 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 honour to play for my country in all the formats of the game, but the time has come for me to retire from Test cricket."
Du Plessis burst onto the scene in 2012 with a back to the wall hundred on debut against Australia. He scored 78 and 110 to win the man of the match and was instrumental in salvaging a monumental draw for the Proteas. He batted 4 sessions and 367 balls in the fourth innings on a wearing Adelaide pitch to secure a historic draw for South Africa. It was this grit and determination that defined the former captain’s entire career.
Du Plessis took over the Test captaincy from AB De Villiers in 2016 and captained the side in 36 tests with a respectable record of 18 wins and 15 losses. After a string of losses, du Plessis finally relinquished his role as captain in 2020 with Quinton De Kock taking over.
Du Plessis scored a career-high 199 in his final home series against Sri Lanka in December 2020 but only managed 55 runs in 2 Tests in the recently concluded Test series in Pakistan. With very little Test Cricket on the horizon for South Africa after Australia pulled out of their upcoming tour to the country, Du Plessis has decided to draw the curtains on his Test career and focus on the other two formats and the upcoming T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021.
“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.”