India v South Africa, Group B, The Oval June 11, 2017

De Villiers' run-out my fault - du Plessis

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Before his mix-up with David Miller, an error of judgment between Faf Du Plessis and AB De Villiers sent the latter back to the pavillion © AFP

As soon as he dabbed Ravindra Jadeja towards point, Faf du Plessis set off immediately, saying "yes", signalling partner AB de Villiers for a single. Hardik Pandya swiftly sent the throw down to MS Dhoni, who brushed off the bails even as de Villiers threw himself forward to complete the run.

Five balls later, du Plessis found was involved in another run-out - this time with David Miller. Both batsmen found themselves at the same end after du Plessis responded to Miller's call for a single, but quickly turned back to make his crease, leaving his partner in an embarrassing position. Those two run-outs were the "turning points" of the match which South Africa went on to lose by eight wickets, according to India captain Virat Kohli.

Du Plessis was apologetic after the defeat and owned up to the fact that his call for a run with de Villiers was not wise. "I take full responsibility for AB's run-out," du Plessis said at the media briefing. "That's my fault. Obviously he [de Villiers] is a big player for us and he was looking good and it was a crunch time in the game. Big mistake from my part running AB out."

Asked if he ventured running for a single that another batsman would, perhaps, avoid, de Villiers said he simply responded to du Plessis' call. "You see, I just tried to take a one with my partner out there and it didn't work. I wasn't searching for runs, I wasn't even facing. So I wouldn't say it like that. There was a call out there, and I thought we could get through for the one."

According to du Plessis, India's bowlers and fielders were mounting pressure quickly and with The Oval packed with fans, mostly Indian supporters, it was difficult to hear the calls in the cacophony. He conceded, however, that nothing could absolve him of his "error in judgment" which resulted in de Villiers' wicket.

"I suppose, after that moment, Dave [Miller] came in and we discussed that it is extremely loud out there and difficult to hear each other so the communication between the two of us was just for the next five overs, just play it as risk free as possible. Try and get the partnership going in, settle the partnership because the last thing you want to do is go wicket, wicket," he said. "And then two or three balls later, obviously a miscommunication, and then Dave came down and ran. Not a great sight to see two guys standing in the crease."

Du Plessis said the run-outs distracted him from trying to focus on batting. Failing to read a slower ball from Pandya, du Plessis chopped on and lost his off stump for 36 runs. Within five overs, South Africa's three most dangerous batsmen were back in the dressing room.

Du Plessis summed up the day as an "average" one for South Africa and gave credit to India to force the mistakes. "That five overs, in a game like today, five overs like that is very, very big," du Plessis said. "You either settle and get through the pressure. Or you absorb it or you don't and we didn't absorb those five overs. I thought India bowled well in the first 10 overs, there was an opportunity there for us to maybe put them under pressure which we didn't do. It was a day where possibly India dominated us in all aspects and it shouldn't happen."

He also pointed out that no amount of experience counts in such moments. "When India were batting they took the pressure, created momentum and then just ran with it. We had a similar opportunity where it was needed for someone, or, two guys to just put the pressure back on the Indian team and you run with it. We didn't do that today. They put us under pressure and we made mistakes and we couldn't get out of it."

According to Kohli, India were confident of restricting South Africa to a modest target once they had sent back de Villiers and du Plessis. "I think his [de Villiers'] run-out could be the turning point. And David Miller's [too]. He is a very dangerous player as well. They can drag the team up to 260, 270 from any sort of situations. Those two run-outs were the turning point today."

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DentalExaminationDude on June 13, 2017, 9:16 GMT

    Understand JohnyElton's thoughts, but surely Faf, ABD, a crucial match and runouts are correctly described as 'average' in the sense of standard, normal, usual and commonplace.

  • CricketChat on June 12, 2017, 12:14 GMT

    Well, FAF did no harm to his captaincy chances. Knock down your opposition and you could out a clean winner. On a serious note, the two run outs were horrendous, to say the least coming at a bad time as SA is expected to press on after a sedate opening stand.

  • stormer1980 on June 12, 2017, 8:34 GMT

    South Africa need a brave coaching staff .... Staff that will encourage players to play their natural game no matter what the situation .... I think we are too conservative and the fact that it's the game plan whenever it comes to Tournaments has proven that it doesn't work. Brave cricket always wins ... Being prepared and pro active is key .... Cricket is your job and if you have been found wanting on a specific side of your game , you should be doing everything you can to improve it ... EG: Middle stump line bowled to De Kock ... The whole tournament , it's all the bowlers did .... Sri Lanka ( Allan Donald ) did it in the first game and it just continued .... So instead of working at it ... he kept coming in and struggling to get going .... Parnell bowling at the beginning of a innings was a shamble from the first game , yet AB continued with him ... My point is that , it never seems like their is a plan B .... its plan A and stick with it ... We need a out of the box thinking coach

  • Sen_San on June 12, 2017, 8:25 GMT

    SA needs some cool head captain like Hansie Cronje, who had an amazing record as a captain. ABD is a great batsman, but doesn't have adequate skills to handle the team

  • JohnYelton on June 12, 2017, 6:11 GMT

    I really don't like the use of the word "average". If this was an average day for SA, what is a bad one like?

  • sachinpower11 on June 12, 2017, 6:01 GMT

    Eng vs Sri semifinal and a IND vs Ban semifinal Final IND vs Eng Champion Trophy with India Win

  • iKAR on June 12, 2017, 5:43 GMT

    Both run-outs are awesome bowling from Faf du Plesis, period! I watched bunch of times, on Millers, Faf came so far and shown his back to Miller. Then he gave his wicket too with inside drag to stumps. Anything around 260 wouldn't have been easy to chase for India.

  • mindurgame on June 12, 2017, 5:33 GMT

    Given SA unending history of failures in world events and big tournaments, what SA need is a monk and not a rock star. What I mean is SA doesn't need a rock star like ABD, but they need a monk like Hashim Amla to lead them. These South Africans are a funny lot. They have never found a captain cool to marshal their team through tournaments. ABD as a captain doesn't inspire any confidence at all. We have seen this over years. He never looks in control of things. He might be a great batsmen but not even an average captain. SA need a 'captain cool' someone of the Dhoni clad if not all qualities of Dhoni. I think Hashim Amla is a perfect candidate for SA. Great batsman, senior and well settled in the side. Looks cool, composed and prepared all the time. Wonderful qualities to be a captain. SA fortunes will change if Hashim captains the nervous laddies like ABD, FAF, Duminy, Miller etc. If ABD still lead in 2019 WC, I predict 1st round exit or at best QF exit for SA. If Amla SA win 2019 WC.

  • cricfan3797864330 on June 12, 2017, 4:38 GMT

    De Villiers' run-out was obviously du Plessis' fault but Miller's run was not his fault. du Plessis had charged for the single so do Miller but Miller stopped for a second in the middle and du Plessis turned back. If you see the replays then you will understand. I saw everybody blaming du Plessis for Miller's run out too which was not the case I believe.

  • ImonG on June 12, 2017, 4:10 GMT

    In the 2015 world cup, 2013 champions trophy, 2017 champions trophy, South African running has been complacent of Indian fielding, and in trying to pinch runs lost key wickets. I think AbDv and Miller both were run out in 2015 by unnecessarily taking on the "Indian arm" from the deep, today's AbDv dismissal was a classic case of underestimating the opposition's athleticism. Ab and Faf both play in the IPL, both should have known that Hardik is a very good fielder. It's their complacency that made them take on Mohit Sharma or Umesh Yadavs arm from the deep in 2015, and Hardik s speed across the turf in 2017. Hope they've learned their lesson this time and don't dare to take on Indian fielding any further, those days are gone.

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