Stuart Hess looks at some Proteas who shone, others whose light dimmed and some who need to turn the light back on again after Pakistan series.
Rassie van der Dussen: Showed two different sides of his batting in the opening matches of the series; on the first occasion he steadied the ship and made a classy century after a top order collapse; in the second game, he attacked early and often to propel the Proteas to a big total. One of the first names on the teamsheet.
Kyle Verrynne: Must have moved ahead of Heinrich Klassen now and, given his recent form he should have played the first two games. Excellent acceleration in the third ODI with the bat, and he can hit big, worthy of more than a back-up spot.
Keshav Maharaj: Swung the momentum of Pakistan’s innings the Proteas way, and given that the 2023 World Cup’s is being played in India, he must be putting himself in the picture for selection. Hopefully gets more opportunities in the next 18 months to press his claims.
NEED TO DO MORE
Andile Phehlukwayo: Possesses of all the attributes to be a world star, but is far too patchy to be considered among the game’s best all-rounders. South Africa needs him to be that if the team is going to be considered World Cup contenders. It’s time he put in a disciplined effort off the field, to help him become a more consistent elite performer on the field.
Tabraiz Shamsi: Weirdly can’t seem to translate his T20 form into the ODI arena. South Africa needs him to take wickets and he struggles when he doesn’t do that early in a spell. Needs to get mentally tougher if he’s to become as much of a weapon for Temba Bavuma, as mentor Imran Tahir was for previous Proteas captains.
GONE IN REVERSE:
Heinrich Klaasen: Bad series for him, coming off a season in which he struggled generally with the bat. A lot of that has to do with him battling Covid-19, which he admitted had a dreadful affect on him at the back end of last year. Needs to get back into domestic cricket to earn his spot again.
Aiden Markram: Flattered to deceive throughout the series. Got three starts, played a lot of sublime shots, but made little impact with the bat overall. His bowling may offer a path into the starting team, but it’s unlikely he’ll be asked to bowl a full 10 overs often, so he really needs to put it together with the bat if he’s going to be a regular starter.