Having lived every ball with the Proteas throughout their World Cup campaign here in the United Kingdom, Zaahier Adams dissects the individuals whose performance resulted in a failed report card to the majority of the team over the past six weeks
Faf du Plessis: 7.5
Runs: 387 HS: 100 Ave: 64.50
Despite being South Africa’s premier batsman, and only Proteas centurion at the World Cup, Du Plessis still leaves the United Kingdom emotionally drained.
This tournament sucked the life out of him, especially after that nightmare first week when the team lost three consecutive games, Dale Steyn returned home with injury and AB de Villiers’ proposed comeback was revealed.
At that point it looked as if Du Plessis’ entire world had come crashing down. To his credit, he composed himself and got stronger in his decision-making on the field and with bat in hand as the tournament progressed.
Sending Bangladesh in to bat on a used wicket at The Oval in the second game will though haunt him for a while yet. He could possibly have signed off his one-day international career with a century and win against his nemesis, Australia.
Rassie van der Dussen: 8
Runs: 311 HS: 95 Ave : 62.50
South Africa’s find of the tournament. While everyone who knows his capabilities would not have been surprised with Van der Dussen’s output, to achieve it at the highest level and under the most severe pressure takes some doing.
And that’s just what RVD did. He showed up some of his more senior teammates, and definitely deserved a maiden ODI ton in the final game against the Australia when he fell short by just one shot. Received the highest compliment from Du Plessis, who tipped him as a future leader of the Proteas.
Imran Tahir: 8
Wickets: 11 BB: 4/29 Ave: 34
“Mr Miyagi” will be sorely missed in the Proteas ODI team. Even at 40-years-old, Tahir still has the most energy of all the Proteas out in the field.
He inspires his teammates not just by taking wickets, but also through his passion. A once-in-a -lifetime cricketer that deserved to win at least one ICC trophy in a sparkling ODI career.
Andile Phehlukwayo: 7.5
Runs: 133 HS: 46* Ave: 33.25
Wickets: 11 BB: 2/18 Ave: 30.45
The youngster from KwaZulu-Natal really was born for the big stage.
When all was floundering around him, Phehlukwayo stood tall by producing solid performances in often dire situations. His only blemish was that he kept his worst performance of the entire tournament for the crunch game against New Zealand.
Chris Morris: 7
Wickets: 13 Ave: 26.33 BB: 3/13
A last-minute replacement for Anrich Nortjé, Morris put out the best version of himself over the past few weeks. He bowled with great speed and tenacity and was a real asset in the field. Most importantly, he found that all-important consistency that had been severely lacking throughout his career.
Dwaine Pretorius: 6
Wickets: 5 BB: 3/25 Ave: 18.8
Jettisoned to drinks-carrier after the opener against England, Pretorius only returned once the campaign had run its course.
However, he immediately showed the selectors what they were missing out on when he produced a Man-of-the-Match performance against Sri Lanka before picking up both David Warner and Steve Smith in the final game.
Quinton de Kock: 5
Runs: 305 HS: 62 Ave: 38.85
A much better World Cup than the harrowing experience four years ago in Australia and New Zealand for De Kock, but still not the impact that the Proteas need from their premier limited-overs batsman. There were starts – which his three half-centuries indicate – but there was nothing worthy of winning a match for his team. De Kock should be measured against the likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Rohit Sharma, Aaron Finch and David Warner, and if that’s the yardstick, then he has fallen horribly short.
Hashim Amla: 5
Runs: 203 HS: 80* Ave: 40.60
Although there were glimpses of the “Mighty Hash” against Sri Lanka when the all-important fluidity was back , the veteran opener was just a yard behind the pace of the game at the World Cup.
The Jofra Archer blow against the head in the opening game against England was the perfect example. Thanks for the great memories Hash, but the No 1 jersey that was yours for so long can now be handed over.
Kagiso Rabada: 4
Wickets: 11 BB: 3/56 Ave: 36.09
“KG” bristled at this World Cup, but never quite exploded. Arguably the biggest disappointment of SA’s campaign.
His IPL exertions prior to the World Cup really took its toll and we only saw the real KG stand up in the final game against Australia. He will come back better and stronger.
David Miller: 4
Runs: 136 HS: 38 Ave: 34
Being left out for the Proteas’ opening game against England dented Miller’s confidence severely. Although he was recalled, he never played with the freedom that we know Miller possesses.
Ultimately a groin injury completed his World Cup disappointment.
Aiden Markram: 3
Runs: 140 HS: 45 Ave: 23.33
SA’s “boy wonder’s” struggles in limited-overs cricket continues. Despite being backed to the tilt by his captain and coaches, Markram just cannot flick that ODI switch as yet.
It is becoming increasingly frustrating watching him cream the ball through the covers with effortless ease before striking one straight to cover.
JP Duminy: 2
Runs: 145 HS: 45 Ave: 17.50
Not the finish Duminy would have envisaged, particularly after being dropped after the first three games, only to return for the final two matches of the campaign when Miller was injured.
South Africa’s ultimate “team man” but greater numbers were required from the most experienced player in the dressing-room.
Lungi Ngidi: 1.5
Wickets: 7 BB: 3/64 Ave: 30.14
A very disappointing maiden World Cup for the big Titans fast bowler. Ngidi will have to improve his fitness if he is to make a sustained impact at the highest level.
He struggled throughout with niggles and strains, which impacted both him and the team severely.
Tabraiz Shamsi: 1
Has really big shoes to fill if he is to be Tahir’s long-term replacement, and on the basis of this World Cup, Shamsi still has much to prove.
Failed to make an impact in the two games he played against India and Australia.