Faf du Plessis returns home with mental scars
Ranchi: Humiliated by a ruthless India, the South African team will go back with "mental scars" as skipper Faf du Plessis rued a lack of vision that impeded phasing out of their great players. South Africa could not pose a fight against formidable India, losing all the matches by heavy margins.
"A tour like this reveals that there's a lot of mental scars that can happen and then obviously it's difficult to come out of that hole," Du Plessis said after they conceded their heaviest defeat to India in the third Test.
"It's just a relentless, ruthlessness the way they put big totals on the board every time. The effect it has on you mentally as a batting lineup, it takes a lot of energy and it takes a lot of toll and that's why you could see towards the end our batting was mentally weak. You don't want to be mentally weak."
Blaming Cricket South Africa, the visiting skipper further said the tour exposed the lack of planning as they did not think for future after greats like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers retired.
"It shows that our structures are not where they need to be. The gap between domestic cricket and International cricket. If you look back three or four years and if someone had the vision of saying, in three or four years' time there will be a lot of inexperienced guys. A lot of 34, 35, 36 year olds could possible retire. So what do you do to make sure you get yourself ready for when that time comes? "And possibly we are guilty of not planning or when these guys going at the same time. And now you've got to replace not only one player but four or five of your best players. Perhaps we could've been a little bit smarter in our planning phase, and the phasing out of the great players," he said.
Barring their first innings in the opening Test in Vizag, the Proteas never really troubled India in the three-Test series as their batting slumped in every match.
"We played our best match in the first Test and the consistent pressure that was on us made us weaker every Test match that we played. That therefore tells me that we're not mentally strong enough as a team and that some work is required on that department."