IPL 2023: Faf du Plessis registers 700-plus season for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to fuel possibilities of international comeback. Du Plessis amassed 730 runs at an average of 56.15 from 14 games in IPL 2023.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) may have been shown the exit door in a heartbreaking fashion on May 21, but Faf du Plessis ended his IPL campaign on a high with a record-breaking 730 runs to his name at an impressive average of 56.15. IPL 2023 has by far been the most successful season for him as he scored the most amount of runs and also recorded an all-time best strike rate of 153.68. It is fair to conclude that the 38-year-old played out of his skin, leading his side from the front whilst also doing the bulk of scoring at the top of the order in the presence of a brittle middle order.
Du Plessis’s first 700-plus IPL season
Compared to his prior seasons, Du Plessis breached the 700-run mark for the first time in 2023. Furthermore, he also registered 8 fifties this season, the most in any IPL season. In IPL 2022, Faf averaged just over 30 whereas his strike rate was at a shocking low of 127.52 with only three half-centuries to his name.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for the South African batting stalwart who has nearly come to the end of his international cricket career. What stood out most was his ability to play long innings at the top of the order alongside Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell. The trio did some intense heavy-lifting in the presence of a fairly inexperienced middle order, which for the most part looked rusty throughout the season. Many players including Michael Bracewell, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat and Wanindu Hasaranga were given a go but failed to deliver big. In view of a shaky middle order, the onus was on the top trio to do the bulk of the scoring and take the attack to the opposition bowlers.
Faf combined brilliantly with Virat and Glenn Maxwell
Let us begin with the batting combination of Faf and Kohli. The duo have looked rock solid at the top of the order. During the season, both of them piled up a mammoth 939 runs between them levelling the partnership record of Kohli and AB de Villiers from IPL 2016. Besides, their chemistry in the middle looked so good that they even registered two match-winning 100-plus opening stands that powered RCB to landslide victories against MI and PBKS, respectively.
Faf’s bonding with Maxwell has also been very healthy. The duo have together displayed great maturity with the bat on a number of occasions this season. Firstly, they registered a match-winning 3rd wicket stand of 127 in just 67 balls which sealed a narrow victory against Royals by 7 runs. In that game, Du Plessis scored a quickfire 62 (39) which featured 8 fours and 2 sixes. And in the second instance, the duo recorded a scintillating 120-run stand in just 61 balls against MI where Du Plessis scored 65 (41).
Superlative individual contributions from the RCB skipper fuel possibilities of international comeback
Apart from his colossal partnerships, Faf’s individual contributions with the bat has also taken RCB to new heights. During the 65th match of the tournament, Faf du Plessis along with Virat Kohli took the SRH bowling attack down as he scored a swashbuckling knock of 71 (47) to steamroll the Orange Army by a massive 8-wicket margin.
When RCB locked horns with PBKS during the 27th fixture, Kohli and Du Plessis went on to put an unassailable 100-plus opening stand where Du Plessis played the role of an aggressor scoring 84 (56) at a robust strike rate of 150. They comfortably went on to win the game by a sizeable margin of 24 runs.
In the backdrop of Faf’s brilliant performance, calls for his selection in the national side are beginning to take shape. However, at this point in time, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has not issued any official statement regarding the possibility of Faf’s selection in the national side. But Du Plessis has now come under their radar for sure as the governing body would have surely taken cognisance of his stupendous batting performance this season.