Is CSK star and Proteas captain Faf du Plessis blaming IPL for South Africa's early exit from World Cup?

Pakistan crushed all hopes of South Africa as they defeated them by 49 runs at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground.

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Is CSK star and Proteas captain Faf du Plessis blaming IPL for South Africa's early exit from World Cup?


    World Cup 2019: Pakistan crushed all hopes of South Africa as they defeated them by 49 runs on Sunday at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground. The defeat meant that the Proteas are the second team to be out of the World Cup campaign.

    The South African captain Faf du Plessis has, however, blamed the Indian Premier League (IPL) for their early exit from the tournament.

    The skipper - who was part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise - revealed that he and the team management had tried to stop ace fastballer Kagiso Rabada from playing this season of the IPL.

    Rabada - bowler for Delhi Capitals (DC) - was strongly recommended to not go for IPL in order to keep fresh for this World Cup. Du Plessis's disclosure was in response to a question on if Rabada's lack of potency was down to fatigue. 

    The fast bowler has bowled 303 overs in all competitions since the start of the year - 47 of which came at the IPL.

    Du Plessis admitted that there were even considerations to get Rabada back home midway through the season to allow him to rest, however, the 24-year-old quick fast bowler was in India till the end of April. 

    "I don't think we'll ever have a perfect answer for that because he's probably biting on too much," du Plessis said on Sunday (June 23), when asked about the fast bowler's workload. "But we did try and get him not to go to the IPL; to try and stay and get fresh. That wasn't the case of -- and then when he went there, we were like, let's try and get him back halfway through the IPL because it's important, not just for him, but a few other players.

    "I mean, I spoke about it before the IPL even started, that it's important that we try and find space to rest our three-format players, because they play all the formats all the time, and then IPL.

    "So I don't think it's not necessarily just the IPL, but it was important for a few guys to rest; and the fact that they didn't mean that they -- you know, they came into the tournament not fresh. That's not an excuse; that's just a fact. And KG is -- you can see that his pace is probably a little bit down from where he normally is.

    "But that challenge we are going to have as a team all the time. You can't, unfortunately, go back with the national side and say to KG: Listen, you're going to rest for the next two series'. He's such a big player for the team; it's a difficult thing to do. You know, you need guys that need three or four or five bowlers in the wings waiting, so you can have a bit of a rotation system. I mean, that was the plan with Anrich [Nortje] in the back-up and pipeline, and he got injured, as well. So, therefore, all our pace is gone and there's so much responsibility on KG to carry that load of being the lone fast bowler."

    Du Plessis, however, reckoned that this World Cup no-show was only the first stumbling block in Rabada's career.

    "KG is trying. But I suppose, the same thing, it's that a lot of the guys are struggling with at the moment is they haven't started the tournament well; and therefore, your confidence has taken a bit of a hit, and it just rolls on. It's such a snowball effect that your performance, you open your eyes, and you're doing the same thing again," du Plessis said.

    "So that will be something that KG will need to know, he's a great bowler. He will be able to fix that. His career has been one that's been probably just going up and up and up and up and up every time he's played for us. This is probably his first stumbling block as a great fast bowler. So for him now, it will be to show how he responds, how he learns in this period and how he makes sure he gets better. Because he has been great for us, but now he needs to take stock of where his bowling is and then try and get better as a bowler.

    "At the moment, he is feeling like he needs to do something, but it's not happening for him, and therefore, you're not seeing that same intensity when he bowls. Or not bowls. Or when he celebrates a wicket or when he's going through after the over the bat to his mark," du Plessis summed up.

    Talking about the IPL, Du Plessis himself was also part of this year's IPL and played in the final clash against Mumbai Indians - who had South Africa's Quinton de Kock as their batsman-wicketkeeper. Though CSK lost, the batsman was awarded Super Striker of the Match trophy.

    Other controversies also surrounded the South African team. With AB de Villiers wanting to join back the squad after retirement to Dale Steyn joining Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side during the IPL and coming back with an injury which left him out of the World Cup.

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