No 'Faf Factor' in Proteas response, insists Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis insists there was more behind South Africa's 340-run thumping of England in the second Test than just his return to the side.

The Proteas were without their skipper during a heavy 211-run opening loss at Lord's, Du Plessis remaining in South Africa following the "difficult nature" of the birth of his child.

With the captain back in their ranks at Trent Bridge, however, South Africa romped to victory with a day to spare on Monday, levelling the series at 1-1 ahead of the third Test at The Oval next week.

Du Plessis was unwilling to take the credit for the team's impressive response to defeat, assuring there was no 'Faf Factor' at play.

"All I try and do is make sure the things I know that make a change in the team, I drill them very hard," he said in his post-match media conference.

"It's definitely not a 'Faf Factor', it's just making sure there's a few obvious things that I focus on and that generally brings the best out of the players.

"I enjoy doing it, I think it brings the best out of me and I love captaining.

"The style of play we normally have is one with a lot of character, intensity and good body language. We played some good cricket [at Lord's] but at times that went missing a bit.

"For me it puts pressure on the opposition and, when you are under pressure, it makes sure how you respond to those moments."

Vernon Philander led the charge for the Proteas on Monday by returning figures of 3-24 to take his haul of wickets for the match to five, but Du Plessis was more impressed by his haul of 96 runs across two innings and playfully likened him to a South Africa icon.

"He is becoming the new Jacques Kallis," the skipper joked.

"We left a batsman out to play two all-rounders and with that comes extra responsibility on his shoulders and he responded beautifully by getting crucial runs for us.

"The ball will always be the ball for him, he is a machine. If there's something [in the pitch] he is probably the best in the world."

Read Full Story