'We let ourselves down on the batting side of things, says SA captain Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis is bowled out by England's Ben Stokes during the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg.
Faf du Plessis is bowled out by England's Ben Stokes during the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says the batting department proved to be the difference in South Africa's 3-1 Test series defeat to England this week.

The South Africans failed to score more than 300 runs in their eight completed innings and there was no individual player who scored a century, with the closest being Rassie van der Dussen who managed 98 at the Wanderers.

The South African top order failed dismally and Proteas’ best performer with the bat was middle order operator and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, who ended the series with 380 runs and the highest score of 95.

Du Plessis pointed out that they finally showed glimpses of their capabilities with the bat in the second session of day four at the Wanderers but it was not enough to save the Test match.

“If we are to be truly honest, we let ourselves down on the batting side of things because we didn’t put those first innings totals and that was the difference for me.

"On day four at the Wanderers, we said that if we take it session by session and try to get partnerships, the target will get smaller.

"There was a fight, a clear game plan and solid technique that is required to be more successful,” said Du Plessis.

“We showed little glimpse of that at times during this series but we have also showed that we are a little bit off from where we need to be.

"Rassie (Van der Dussen) is a good example of that, he worked very hard behind the scenes with Jacques Kallis leading up to this Test.

"We found out that there were a few technical things he needed to work on and he spent some time on that in the build up this week.

"It paid off, which is good, and that is exactly what this batting line-up needs. Hopefully we will start scoring runs again.”

South Africa also finished the series with Anrich Nortje as the leading wicket taker with 18 scalps from his seven innings.

“From a bowling perspective it’s tough to ask new guys making their debuts to compete against bowling units that have more than 400 Test wickets in their pockets.”

South Africa and England will switch their focus to the shorter format of the game with the first of three-match ODI series starting at Newlands in Cape Town on February 4.


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