A string of competent performances later, we come to November, 2012. South Africa is playing Australia. Faf received a surprise call up to the test squad – albeit as a substitute. As his luck (and Duminy’s ill-luck) would have it, Duminy – SA’a first choice middle order test batsman – was injured. The stage was set for Faf’s debut test match against the Australians.
The first innings saw the Australians establish a significant lead after they scored 550 and dismissed the South Africans for 388. In the second innings, the South Africans fought hard to restrict the Aussies to just 267 runs, leaving them with 430 runs to chase. Things did not go well for them as they lost their first four wickets for just 45 runs. That’s when Faf du Plessis played the innings of his life.
The Faf facts are, he batted for seven hours and 46 minutes, in mainly 34 degrees of heat and high humidity, with five different partners, one of whom could barely run, to defy a fired upAustralian attack and save a crucial match for the South Africans.
With his monumental effort Faf thereby joined a list of illustrious South African batsmen to have scored a test century on debut : Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock against Australia in Durban, 1970; Kepler Wessels' men at Lord's, 1994; Faf du Plessis against Australia in Adelaide, 2012.