Australia has never been a happy-hunting ground for South Africa’s veteran leg-spinner
After the Proteas first one-day international series win in Australia since 2008/9, Zaahier Adams takes a closer look at who has improved their chances of heading to the World Cup next year …
9.5 – David Miller
Runs: 192, HS: 139, Ave: 96, 100s: 1, 50s: 1
The southpaw from Pietermaritzburg reminded everyone of just why he will be a crucial part of the Proteas’ plans at next year’s World Cup. His match-winning innings in the series-decider showed a new-found maturity where he displayed a new-found patience before unleashing his power game.
9 – Faf du Plessis
Runs:182, HS: 125, Ave: 91, 100s: 1, 50s: 0
When Du Plessis’ team needed their skipper to lead from the front, there he was again with a splendid counter-attacking ton in the third ODI. His leadership is up there with the best, while he was particularly good in rotating his fast bowlers under pressure in Hobart too.
8 – Dale Steyn
Wickets: 7, BB: 3/45, Ave: 13.42, Eco: 3.48
Steyn was determined to show the people Down Under that there was still gas left in his 35-year-old tank. Three matches later, and Steyn has everyone purring again with the pace and swing only he can generate.
8 – Kagiso Rabada
Wickets: 7, BB: 4/54, Ave: 17.71, Eco: 4.50
Whenever the skipper needs a breakthrough, he throws the ball at his spearhead and more often than not Rabada delivers. Even when Chris Lynn put him under pressure in the second ODI, he held his nerve to deliver a slower ball that flummoxed Lynn.
7 – Dwaine Pretorius
Wickets: 5, BB: 3/32, Ave: 18.60, Eco: 4.65
A surprise selection for this Australian tour, the Highveld Lions all-rounder put in solid claim for a spot at the World Cup with a couple of consistent performances with the ball.
7 – Andile Phehlukwayo
Wickets: 3, BB: 3/33, Ave: 11.0, Eco: 5.50
Another of the all-rounder contestants, Phehlukwayo put in a solid showing with the ball in the sole match he played in the series.
5 – Aiden Markram
Runs: 87, HS: 36, Ave: 29.00, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Markram played arguably the shot of the summer when he smashed a 152km/* Michell Starc delivery into the Bradman Stand at the Adelaide Oval, but unfortunately there was too much flash and too little substance in this series.
4.5 – Reeza Hendricks
Runs: 68, HS: 44, Ave: 22.66, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
A solid start in the series opener was unfortunately as good at it got for Hendricks in the series. He faces an uphill battle to be selected for the World Cup once JP Duminy returns.
4.5 – Lungi Ngidi
Wickets: 4, BB: 2/26, Ave: 37.25, Eco: 5.4
The numbers are not a fair reflection of Ngidi’s performances in the series. He bowled with good pace with the new ball and was deadly accurate at the back-end, often bowling delivering in pressure situations.
4 – Quinton de Kock
Runs: 60, HS: 47, Ave: 20.00, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
When does the real worrying start about De Kock’s lack of form? Maybe once his opening partner Hashim Amla returns will we get to see the best of “Quinny” once more.
2 – Heinrich Klaasen
Runs:17, HS: 14, Ave: 8.5, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Wasted three golden opportunities to nail down a World Cup spot. The selectors may just be forced to go back to Farhaan Behardien during the home summer.
2 – Imran Tahir
Wickets: 2, BB: 2/39, Ave: 67.50, Eco: 5.19
Australia has never been a happy-hunting ground for South Africa’s veteran leg-spinner.
And perhaps as expected we saw it happen again this time around.