Francois du Plessis, known as Faf, could well have joined the South African player drain to England when he signed a Kolpak deal with Lancashire in 2008. However, he was called up to the national side after a stunning season in the MTN40 competition in South Africa in 2010-11, when he topped the run charts with 567 runs from 10 matches, including three centuries. He made his debut in the home series against India before the World Cup, making 60 in his first innings, and was included in South Africa's World Cup squad - although he was part of a misfiring middle order that was one cause of South Africa's quarter-final loss to New Zealand.
du Plessis had toured with South Africa U-19s and already caught the eye in the domestic game before following the route to county cricket having played for Todmorden in the Lancashire League in 2007. He made a positive impression with his all-round skills - some of his fielding is electric, and people still talk about his catch in the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final against Middlesex in 2008.
He is better known for his batting, with the ability to score runs all around the wicket and a particularly sensational off-drive, but has also had his bowling responsibility increased at franchise level and will play as an all-rounder. He is quick and agile in the field and can be trusted to prowl any region. Cricinfo staff March 2011