With the embattled Proteas teetering on 88/6 at the end of the second day of the final test against England at the Wanderers – still 312 behind – much of the outrage has been directed at Faf du Plessis.
The South African captain has had a tough week with a heap of questions being asked over his international future and whether he really still carries the proverbial #ProteaFire within.
And Du Plessis hardly helped his cause with a stinker of a day, where his catching, captaincy and batting all combined to culminate in one dismal failure.
South African cricket fans on Twitter were quick to pounce.
another magnificent innings from captain Faf Du Plessis
— Alex (@Alextaljaard) January 25, 2020
Faf du Plessis the most useless batsmen currently and worse as a captain. #FafduPlessis he must go
— Sifundo Mchunu (@khehla_Mchunu) January 25, 2020
— ???????? as far as I'm concerned (@Swatyupants) January 25, 2020
WorstPerfoming Captain and is allowed to on team selection. Faf must do an hornable thing and resign. This blocking boring cricket mentality makes people stay away from SA games. What a mess? It’s like England is playing at home#FafduPlessis
— Thembokuhle Bhengu (@ThembokuhleB) January 25, 2020
Indeed, one can’t exactly argue about his form with the bat…
Faf du Plessis has averaged less than 13 runs in the last 10 Test innings he has batted in.
— Martin Becker (@martinbckr) January 25, 2020
#SAvENG A man phones the proteas changeroom and asks to speak to Faf du Plessis
Coaching staff: "sorry he's just gone out to bat you'll have to call later"
Caller: "ah that's ok mate, I'll just hold on the line for him"
— Siphiwe Gift Cindi (@siphiwe_Cindi1) January 25, 2020
Yet while there was a sense of inevitability over his dismissal for just three, his biggest failing was some strange captaincy during England’s last-wicket stand, which fetched 82 runs as the Proteas threw away the possibility of keeping the tourists’ first innings total in reasonable check.
Not only was he criticised for not using his best bowlers, but also some bizarrely defensive fields for a No 10 and 11…
Faf should have just kept Philander and Nortje to wrap up the 10th wicket not those two jokers entlek Faf Du Plessis must fall
— Mangi (@Mangi93554994) January 25, 2020
— Felicity Tshikedi ???????? (@FtshikediThaba) January 25, 2020
Faf Du Plessis is a useless captain in this test though, the score was 329 for 9 when he decided to change his bowling attack…. Look now the chase is 400, of which he'll probably be oust for single digit!! #Ptoteafore #SAvENG pic.twitter.com/juzblOVI2N
— Cadre in Chief [CIC]™???????? (@Majesty_I) January 25, 2020
Not sure if Faf du Plessis' head is in the right place- test matches can be won and lost based on certain periods of play. Shocking captaincy & bizarre tactics- almost seemed resigned to watching it play out. #Proteas, must not forget, can STILL draw the series #sscricket #SAvENG
— thecricketblog (@thecricblogger) January 25, 2020
To just add a bit of insult to injury, Du Plessis also dropped his direct opponent, Joe Root, in the slips…
Faf Du Plessis just drooped Joe Root At slip. First time I’ve ever seen Faf drop a sitter
— Bilal ???????? (@billz_25) January 25, 2020
Faf du Plessis needs to go i've had enough man is even dropping catches now.????
— 夫明美安 (@FayaLinden) January 25, 2020
Though there was some small redemption in the field at least…
Now that is a seriously good catch by Faf du Plessis, going a long way to his right at 2nd slip & giving Anrich Nortje a richly-deserved maiden 5-wicket haul! The dangerous Woakes goes for 32, England 318-9
— Ken Borland (@KenBorland) January 25, 2020