“I would never say to ‘KG’ to change the way that you are. It’s important that he plays the way that he plays the game,” du Plessis said after returning to the South African camp. “Every guy within cricket needs your natural instinct and personality to come out because that creates the best of you.
“I would never expect him to apologise to the team. For me that’s showing what you’re made of. He is showing that he wants to do desperately well for his country. It’s a big disappointment for us not having him. It’s a shame. He is a real big part of this team. In big Test series like this you want to see your big Test players compete against each other.”
“I don’t think it was anything to do with Ben,” he said. “I think it was a little bit of frustration from ‘KG’. He didn’t have the rhythm that he wanted to and it was just frustration coming through. I played with Ben (in the IPL) and I can tell you he is just as fiery and that’s what makes him so competitive and so skillful. I called him ‘the dragon’ in the IPL because he breathes fire when he gets angry. That’s important, when you have characters to come through like that. That’s what I say about KG. For not one second must he lose that.”
Whether or not South Africa will be poking the dragon in the coming Tests, du Plessis was clear that he wants his players to channel their aggression in a positive manner.