Zaahier Adams, who has covered every ICC T20 World Cup since 2007, will over the course of the next couple of days pick his “Best Proteas T20 XI”.
SOUTH AFRICA were among the first countries to give birth to Twenty20 domestic cricket with the advent of the Standard Bank Pro20 featuring the six domestic franchises.
Initially this gave the Proteas a head start, but the explosion of major competitions such as the Indian Premier League, Big Bash and Caribbean Premier League since has seen those countries overtake South Africa in the shortest format.
However, the Proteas that have had the opportunity to ply their trade in those leagues regularly have delivered some explosive performances over the years.
ZAAHIER ADAMS, who has been present at every ICC T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007, will over the course of the next couple of days pick his “Best Proteas T20 XI”. Today we start with the openers.
Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock
Both regulars in the lucrative IPL, Du Plessis and De Kock are among the premier T20 stars on the global circuit.
Sharing a dressingroom with the likes of MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo at the juggernaut Chennai Super Kings for almost a decade has certainly elevated Du Plessis’s T20 game to the next level – evident by the fact that he holds the highest T20I score (119 off 56 balls, 11×4, 5×6) by a South African.
Although Du Plessis usually comes to the crease at No 3 for the Proteas, he earns the promotion to the top of the order on the basis that’s where he bats for CSK.
De Kock, meanwhile, is the first name on the Proteas T20 roster. His audacious striking ability, coupled with his superb wicket-keeping, makes him indispensable. Not many batsmen can boast about breaking AB de Villiers’ records, but that’s just what De Kock did when he blasted the fastest Proteas T20I half-century off just 17 balls earlier this year, eclipsing De Villiers’ mark by four balls.
De Kock also owns the third fastest 50 off just 22 deliveries. Both Du Plessis and De Kock have led the Proteas T20 team, but the captain’s armband goes to the suave Du Plessis this time.
Based purely on one balmy night in Hamilton when the portly opener clubbed the then-fastest T20I century in the world off just 45 balls – an innings that included a record 13 sixes.
Anyone that goes by the nickname “The Hammer” would have a bowler quaking in his boots. Should have played plenty more T20I’s for the Proteas, but will always be remembered for his 94 off just 45 balls, which formed part of a record-breaking 170-run opening stand with Graeme Smith against England at SuperSport Park.