Home Sport Cricket Proteas report card: Aiden has finally arrived in T20 cricket

Proteas report card: Aiden has finally arrived in T20 cricket

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South Africa’s Aiden Markram in action. Picture: Reuters, Satish Kumar

Zaahier Adams, who has been on the ground in the UAE throughout the T20 World Cup, rates the entire squad.

DUBAI – The Proteas exited the T20 World Cup on the basis of an inferior net run-rate in comparison to both England and Australia, who advanced to the semi-finals.

However, the campaign yielded many positive results, with the Proteas winning four of their five matches.

Sports writer Zaahier Adams, who has been on the ground here in the UAE throughout, rates the entire squad.

Aiden Markram: 9

Runs: 162, Ave: 54, HS: 52*, Strike-rate: 145.94

After years of trying to transfer his red-ball form into a successful white-ball game plan, Markram has finally arrived as one of the premier T20 batters in the world. The way he has adapted to his new-role has also been a revelation for the Proteas, with coach Mark Boucher stating: “We actually made a conscious effort to try to get him in the middle order.

“I think he’s strong enough to be able to clear boundary riders, and there was a bit of a risk that we took, but he’s shown that he’s come through in that role as well batting at No.4.” Markram also delivered a few economical overs with his off-spin during different stages of the innings.

ALSO READ: ‘Team is in a very good space’, says Proteas coach

Anrich Nortjé: 9

Wickets: 9, Ave: 11.55, Economy: 5.37, BB: 6.88

The Uitenhage Express bristled with pace throughout the tournament, and even in conditions that were not always favourable for the fast bowlers, Nortjé found a way to achieve success based on knowledge gained while playing here in the IPL beforehand.

Temba Bavuma: 8.5

Runs: 91, Ave: 30.33, HS: 46, Strike-rate: 108.33

The Proteas captain performed a sterling job in leading the team under intense pressure-filled conditions, growing in stature with each passing game. The manner in which he handled the Quinton de Kock #Kneegate crisis was also a tribute to the country.

Bavuma’s batting, though, was always under the spotlight due to the rate at which he scores his runs, and considering SA were knocked out on net run-rate it was highlighted even more, but this team required someone to hold it all together and Bavuma did just that when it mattered most.

ALSO READ: #T20WorldCup: Brave Proteas beat England but fail to qualify for semi-finals

Tabraiz Shamsi: 8

Wickets: 8, Ave: 15.12, Economy: 6.36, BB: 3/17

Although Shamsi was displaced as the No.1 T20 bowler in the world during the tournament, this was no reflection on the wrist spinner’s performances here in the UAE. Bar one disappointing outing against the Windies, Shamsi was once again excellent and a real talisman within the set-up.

Rassie van Dussen: 8

Runs: 177, Ave: 59, HS: 94*, Strike-rate: 116.44

“Mr Consistency” once again showed his worth to the Proteas at a major tournament, highlighted by his majestic innings in the final game against England at Sharjah. The promotion to No.3 certainly paid dividends with South Africa being able to extract the best out of Van der Dussen in this role.

“There were certain times we might have used Rassie at No.5 but we felt that in order to maximize the power play tonight. We wanted him up front. He showed that he can play both ways,” Boucher said.

Credit to Van der Dussen is also the way he has been able to improve and take on the pre-tournament criticism of starting too slowly to get himself into the best position to be successful for him and the team.

Dwaine Pretorius: 7.5

Wickets: 9, Ave: 15.12, Economy: 6.88, BB: 3/17

Runs: 1, Ave: 0.5, HS: 1, Strike-rate: 33.3

South Africa have long sought a death-bowler to rely upon and Pretorius filled the void amicably at this tournament, finishing as team’s joint highest wicket-taker with Anrich Nortjé. Equally, Pretorius kept the run-rate in check during this critical period.

The only reason he doesn’t get a higher score is for the fact that he under-performed in his dual role with the bat, failing against both Australia and Sri Lanka at critical stages of the game.

Kagiso Rabada: 7

Wickets: 8, Ave: 19.37, Economy: 8.15, BB: 3/20

Runs: 32, Ave: – , HS: 19*, Strike-rate: 106.6

It was a tournament of extremes for KG Rabada. The scale swung violently from magnificent to horrendous. Rabada blew away Bangladesh with a Player of the Match performance and played a pivotal hand with the bat in the victory over Sri Lanka, while he also claimed a last-over hat-trick in the England win.

But Rabada was off-colour against Australia and Sri Lanka with the ball before England’s Liam Livingstone sent him into the Sharjah night sky with three successive sixes. A big home summer awaits Rabada with Virat Kohli’s India on the horizon.

ALSO READ: Proteas are finding ways to win – even if it’s ugly, says Miller

David Miller: 7

Runs: 44, Ave: 44, HS: 23*, Strike-rate: 133.3

The veteran slugger had very minimal opportunity to make an impact at this T20 World Cup, but he was required to rise to the occasion most memorably against Sri Lanka in Sharjah when he struck two sixes in the last over to take the Proteas to the edge of the line. Miller will look forward to another go next year in Australia.

Keshav Maharaj: 6

Wickets: 3, Ave: 15.12, Economy: 6.36, BB: 2/24

A solid first T20 World Cup for the left-arm spinner, especially after being tasked to bowl the majority of his overs within the first Powerplay. Maharaj, though, would have hoped to make a bigger impact in terms of forging a few more early breakthroughs.

Quinton de Kock: 3

Runs: 69, Ave: 17.25, HS: 34, Strike-rate: 107.81

The architect of the biggest headlines here at the T20 World Cup in the UAE, De Kock could never shrug off the spotlight that was on him after he withdrew from the West Indies match after Cricket SA issued a directive for the entire Proteas’ team to take a knee. The drama that ensued seemed to have stayed with De Kock as he never could never quite get into a rhythm after returning to the team after accepting to take a knee.

Reeza Hendricks: 3

Runs: 56, Ave: 14, HS: 39, Strike-rate: 101.81

A silky cameo against the West Indies in the absence of De Kock earned Hendricks a ticket for the remainder of the tournament, but he never utilised his opportunities here in the UAE and the time to move on has probably arrived for the 32-year-old.

Heinrich Klaasen: 2

Ave: 13, HS: 13, Strike-rate: 100.00

The back-up wicket-keeper played a couple of games, most prominently when he stood in for De Kock against the Windies, but unfortunately could not make any significant contribution with the bat while dropping a straight-forward chance.

@ZaahierAdams

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