Sports correspondent Zaahier Adams takes a closer look at how the Proteas performed during the league stages of the IPL.
Cape Town – The Proteas’ Men’s team have an exciting five-match T20 series against India on the horizon. Bar former former captain Faf du Plessis, all the South Africans playing in the Indian Premier League will be available for the series.
Zaahier Adams takes a closer look at how they performed during the league stages of the IPL.
Quinton de Kock (Lucknow Super Giants)
Matches: 14, Runs: 502, Ave 38.61, SR: 149.40, 50s: 3 50s, 100s: 1
De Kock has made a smooth transition from the Mumbai Indians to his new team and in the process forming a devastating opening partnership with captain KL Rahul. The pair both have over 500 runs for the season and sit in second and third place respectively on the overall run-scorers list behind Rajasthan’s Jos Buttler.
The Proteas superstar was consistent during the initial stages before exploding with a 70-ball 140 not out as the play-offs drew closer. De Kock’s experience with Mumbai in the play-offs will be crucial to the Super Chargers’ chances of winning a maiden title.
Kagiso Rabada (Punjab Kings)
Matches: 13, Wickets: 23, Ave: 17.65, Eco: 8.45
Entering the IPL with the record-price tag of R18.6 million on his head, Rabada proved he is worth every cent as he completed the league stages as the highest wicket-taker among the fast bowlers in the tournament.
It was unfortunately not enough to propel the Punjab Kings into the play-offs, but that will be to the Proteas’ benefit as he will now get an extra week of rest before the winter tour to England commences in a short while.
Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Matches: 14, Runs: 443 runs, Ave: 34.07, SR: 130.67, 50s: 30, 100s: 0
Carrying the responsibility of being his team’s highest run-scorer and leading a team with the baggage of RCB, while the side’s biggest star, Virat Kohli, was experiencing a career-crisis, would have weighed anyone else down. But not Du Plessis. It seems the bigger the challenge, the bigger the motivation for the former Proteas captain.
Du Plessis has virtually carried RCB on his back and pulled them along with him into the play-offs. Another whose championship-winning experience with previous side Chennai Super Kings will be invaluable for the perennially-underperforming RCB now that the tournament has reached its business end.
A real pity the national selectors continue to overlook him.
Aiden Markram (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches: 14, Runs: 381 runs, Ave: 47.63, SR: 139.95, 50s: 3, 100s: 0
After the wretched international summer Markam endured with the Proteas, he would have just been happy to be in a different environment and contribute positively to his team.
Although the Sunrises failed to reach the play-offs, this was not due to Markram as he delivered some positive innings in the middle-order that will hopefully have restored some lost confidence.
David Miller (Gujarat Titans)
Matches: 14, Runs: 381 runs, Ave: 54.42, SR: 136.07, 50s: 1, 100s: 0
Miller has certainly benefited from joining a new team after not being a regular starter at both the Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals over the past few IPL seasons.
The hard-hitting southpaw has spokenly about how “encouraging it’s been to know that I’m 100% backed” at the Titans and his performances this season have repaid the faith shown in him.
Dewald Brevis (Mumbai Indians)
Matches: 6, Runs: 161, Ave: 23, SR 142.07, 50s: 0, 100s: 0
The new poster-boy of South African cricket created a storm at the IPL when he smashed four sixes in a single over to confirm his outrageous talent. Unfortunately for the teenage prodigy, he could not build on this performance.
However, the experience of a maiden IPL season, surrounded by legends such as Rohit Sharma, will have accelerated his growth as a cricketer immeasurably.
Dwaine Pretorius (Chennai Super Kings)
Matches: 6, Runs: 44 runs, Ave: 11, SR 157.14, 50s 0, 100s 0, Wickets: 6, Eco: 10
It is always difficult for a new player to make an impact in a team that is struggling, and Pretorious could unfortunately not get his maiden IPL season going.
Being the Proteas’ premier T20 death bowler alongside Kagiso Rabada, he too would have benefitted from playing alongside DJ Bravo, especially in terms of gameplans at the backend of an innings.
Rassie van der Dussen (Rajasthan Royals)
Matches: 3 Runs: 22 runs, Ave: 11, SR: 91.66, 50s: 0, 100s: 0
A victim of the Royals’ success, Van der Dussen has not had much opportunity during this season’s IPL to show off his skills. Would be an asset to any other side.
Tristan Stubbs (Mumbai Indians)
Matches: 2, Runs: 2 runs, Ave: 1, SR: 50, 50s 0, 100s: 0
The 21-year-old would no doubt have been disappointed with his output in his two appearances after receiving a late call-up due to Tymal Mills suffering an injury. But like Brevis, Stubbs will only have benefitted from experiencing Indian conditions prior to returning with the Proteas for next month’s T20 series.
Anrich Nortjé (Delhi Capitals)
Matches: 6, Wickets: 9, Ave: 24.11, Eco: 9.71
Delhi had invested plenty in Nortjé by retaining him ahead of this season’s IPL. Unfortunately Nortjé, who had not played for the Proteas throughout the course of the home international summer, arrived in India still hampered by injury.
The Capitals rushed his return and it proved to be a disaster with Nortjé clearly not at full-fitness yet. A further month of rehabilitation ensued before “The Uitenhage Express” looked more like his old self again in the final games of the campaign.
Marco Jansen (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches: 8, Wickets: 7, Ave: 39.14, Eco: 8.56
It is easy to forget that Jansen only turned 22 at the beginning of this month such is the impact the beanpole left-armer has had in the Proteas’ Test side already. However, in white-ball cricket, he is very much still learning his trade and it showed in this IPL.
Jansen’s inconsistency was highlighted by the fact that he cleaned up the RCB top-order, which included Kohli and Du Plessis, in one over before being carted for 25 runs in the final over of the next game.
* Lungi Ngidi and Corbin Bosch have not played any matches for their respective teams