sport news Flaky Faf du Plessis could be forced to fall on his sword if weather allows ...

Pressure expected to increase on flaky South Africa captain Faf du Plessis who could be forced to fall on his sword if weather permits England to complete resounding victory Performances as much as results are the worry for Faf du Plessis' South Africa  They lost at home against lowly Sri Lanka a year ago before a thrashing in India  Du Plessis also led the Proteas to ignominious failure at the World Cup  Head coach Mark Boucher stopped short of defending his under-siege captain

By Neil Manthorp For The Daily Mail

Published: 21:28 GMT, 19 January 2020 | Updated: 23:03 GMT, 19 January 2020

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Faf du Plessis will face even greater pressure than he has already endured in the last year after what will be a humiliating defeat on Monday — provided there isn't a full day of rain to save his beleaguered side.

He became the first South Africa captain to lose a Test series on home soil against a team from the subcontinent when his men went down 2-0 to lowly Sri Lanka a year ago, before leading them to ignominious failure at the World Cup.

Worse was to come in India in October when they were thrashed 3-0 in another Test series, the last two defeats by an innings. Now this. It's not just the results, it is the nature of the performances which rankles, the apparent lack of fight which is so alien to South African sports culture.

Faf du Plessis will face even greater pressure after what will be a humiliating defeat on Monday

Faf du Plessis will face even greater pressure after what will be a humiliating defeat on Monday

it is the apparent lack of fight which is so alien to South African sports culture that is worrying

it is the apparent lack of fight which is so alien to South African sports culture that is worrying

Head coach Mark Boucher did his best to deflect criticism from his under-siege captain but stopped short of defending him. 'It's not the time to start pointing fingers, it's a time for self-reflection,' said Boucher.

'Ultimately, I need to take responsibility for the performance of the team and I need to ask myself how I can upskill these players,

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