He is ready to accept his fault in the game-changing run-outs against India but Faf du Plessis insisted that South Africa “never deserved to be in the semi- finals” because of the quality of cricket they played during the Champions Trophy.
Du Plessis was involved in run-outs of skipper AB de Villiers and David Miller within a space of six deliveries which turned the match head on. On both occasions, it was his call that became other batsman’s undoing.
“Yeah, all those run-outs are completely my fault. There were opportunities for us in the game, myself and Quinton (de Kock) started getting a nice partnership together after 10 overs, where India bowled really well.
“To have that kind of run-out (involving De Villiers) was never part of the plan. AB at the crease would have meant pressure for opposition,” he admitted.
However, he was more disappointed about the mix-up with Miller as both ended at one end.
“What happened after (De Villiers run-out) was not great. That changed the game entirely. A big opportunity in the game gone, India just didn’t give us anything. I accept the responsibility,” said Du Plessis.
The ‘C word’ is something that makes every South African cricketer uncomfortable. While Du Plessis just like De Villiers had no answer why they choke during big matches, he did have strong observations about the quality of cricket that they had been playing of late.
“We can only actually stop people from talking about it is when we win an event. We didn’t do that here as well. Right through the tournament, we didn’t play our best cricket and we didn’t deserve to win the tournament. Today was really, really bad day for us. Probably, our worse day in the tournament,” Du Plessis’ replied in what came as a harsh self assessment.
“Right through the tournament, we weren’t the team that we should be with the kind of players that we have. There hasn’t been a single match where everything clicked for us. We don’t deserve to be in semi-final,” he added.
Asked if it’s something to do with ICC tournament, he quipped: “I would like to get into the future and be on the other side and ask the future players what they feel.
“Even against England, we blew hot and cold. We were not consistent and in these tournaments, if you are not consistent enough, you can’t even reach the knock-out stage.”
Du Plessis predicted an India versus England final with odds in favour of Virat Kohli’s team.
“India versus England will be a good final. England is an in-form team but India plays big finals really well,” he concluded.