With the Test match part of the season now over, Stuart Hess assesses who did well and who did not over the course of four Tests.
JOHANNESBURG – With the Test match part of the season now over (thanks for that Cricket Australia) Stuart Hess assesses who did well and who did not over the course of four Tests.
SA player ratings for the four Tests this season:
Dean Elgar 7/10
A solid season, with a vital century in the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers. He would have wanted more from himself in Pakistan, making two bad errors in Rawalpindi. Dropped a key catch there as well.
Aiden Markram 8
The tour to Pakistan may prove to be a turning point for his career. A magnificent fourth innings hundred in Rawalpindi, gave the Proteas hopes of an unlikely win. Made a mistake against the second new ball, nevertheless looked more secure at the crease, and has found the important balance between defence and attack.
Rassie van der Dussen 5
Had some crucial partnerships – with Elgar at the Wanderers, and Markram in the Pakistan series. Yet to turn those fifties into hundreds and it will be gnawing away at him.
Faf du Plessis 4
The big 199 against a depleted Sri Lanka stands out, but after that he averaged just 12.6 over the course of five innings. Not good enough as one of the team’s senior members.
Temba Bavuma 6
Averaged 50.4 in the four Tests, and yet leaves the impression that he has so much more to offer. It appears that No 5 is the position most suited to him, and he needs to take advantage of the opportunities that come with batting one place higher.
Quinton de Kock 2
Just a bad season, in which he wasn’t helped by being loaded with the extra responsibility of the Test captaincy. Was frazzled in Karachi, and tried to be more free-spirited in Rawalpindi, but that just led to an awful shot first ball in the second innings. Hopefully the team management move on from him as Test captain for his own sake and the team’s.
Wiaan Mulder 6
Made a really good impression with the ball against Sri Lanka, particularly the ability to bowl long spells and lock up an end. Gets the ball moving too when conditions allow. Showed good signs with the bat in Rawalpindi, but his first innings run-out was a key turning point in the match. A major lesson.
Keshav Maharaj 5
Gutsy with the ball in Rawalpindi where he bowled 83 overs with injured ribs. Getting Babar Azam out three times will rank high on his list of achievements one day. Has more to offer with the bat, and let the team down in that aspect in Pakistan.
Kagiso Rabada 5
Only played in Pakistan as Cricket South Africa managed his workload and bowled some outstanding spells, picking up his 200th Test wicket in the process. Was inconsistent in Rawalpindi. Given his history against them, it’s a big pity we won’t see him take on Australia again next month.
Anrich Nortje 8
His star continues to shine brighter. Picked up 20 wickets this summer, including two five-fors, with his first innings performance in Rawalpindi the highlight. He will have a big role to play for the Proteas across all formats.
Lutho Sipamla 7
Made his debut against Sri Lanka and recovered from a nervous start, to become a real asset in that short series. His emergence deepens the fast bowling stocks and if his career continues its current upward curve, he may find himself pushing for a starting place more often.
George Linde 6
A second innings five-for with a busted pinky was one hell of a brave performance in the second Test against Pakistan. Certainly offered more with the bat than Maharaj. Could be an intriguing battle between those two when just one spinner’s spot is up for grabs in the starting eleven.
Lungi Ngidi 5
A “so so” summer for the big quick. Picked up seven wickets against Sri Lanka and bowled reasonably well in the first Test against Pakistan where he was a late replacement for the injured Tabraiz Shamsi. Needs to increase his pace to the high 130s more consistently and should use those “cutters” a bit more as well in the Test arena.