Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis revealed the Indian bowler who gave him sleepless nights in Test matches in the sub-continent and it wasn’t either Jasprit Bumrah or Ravichandran Ashwin. Du Plessis hasn’t played for South Africa since his retirement from the longest format despite still being an active player.
Faf du Plessis is considered one of the best players to have led South Africa across all formats, however, his career for the Proteas was cut short after he announced his retirement from the longest format in 2021. Since then Du Plessis has been a regular feature in franchise leagues across the world whether in the IPL, BBL, CPL, The Hundred and now in SA20.
Du Plessis may be still a force to reckon with in white-ball cricket but he was one of the best Test players of his time in the longest format having scored 4163 runs in less than 70 matches in his career. However, despite that, his record in the format in the sub-continent remained dismal.
Playing in India, the UAE, Pakistan, Du Plessis’ average remained below 20 in all three countries in 11 matches, with the lowest being in the Emirates at 13.5 in a couple of matches. Du Plessis may be one of the better players of spin, however, he struggled on pitches in the sub-continent. In India too, in seven matches, the 38-year-old scored just 202 runs at 15.6, with the highest being 64 and naturally it was spinners of both India and Pakistan that gave him sleepless nights as far as Test cricket was concerned.
During an interaction with ESPNCricinfo, du Plessis was asked the same and he gave a surprising response as far as the Indian bowler was concerned as it was neither Ravichandran Ashwin or Jasprit Bumrah, but Ravindra Jadeja, who made his life difficult on Indian pitches, whom he played alongside for quite a few years in the IPL as well.
“Saeed Ajmal [gave sleepless nights] quite a bit. Then Test matches in India, it was Ravindra Jadeja “, he said.
Jadeja is one of the most improved Test cricketers for India in the last few years as not only as a bowler, he has proved his worth as a batter lower down the order at home and in foreign Test matches, however, the all-rounder has been out of action since the Asia Cup. Jadeja underwent surgery after sustaining a knee injury during the continental tournament and since then, he has been on the path to recovery. India will hope that he returns fully fit before the big Test series at home against Australia after he was named in the squad subject to fitness.