• SA’s WC player report cards

    March 24, 2015
    Sadness personified.

    We mark each of South Africa’s World Cup squad out of 10. See who clinched a great 9.5, who settled on 5 and who endured a terrible 2.

    AB de Villiers
    (Mts: 8; Runs: 482; Bat Ave: 96.40; Wkts: 4; Bowl Ave: 21.50)
    De Villiers was the complete package, as a human, captain, batsman… and part-time bowler. He hardly put a foot wrong, until that botched run-out in the semi-final. What a pity his genuinely all-round effort – off and on the field, in word and deed – didn’t bring more success. Rating: 9.5/10

    David Miller
    (Mts: 8; Runs: 324; Bat Ave: 64.80)
    Tuesday’s six-laden cameo in Auckland, unfortunately, wasn’t enough. But like De Kock and one or two others, Miller is young enough to get in another one or two World Cups. His maiden outing didn’t result in ultimate success for the team, but certainly confirmed his individual prowess. Rating: 8/10

    Faf du Plessis
    (Mts: 7; Runs: 380; Bat Ave: 63.33)
    A typically unsung hero in many regards, Du Plessis was his usual secure self with the bat. His role in the field can’t be quantified, exactly, but the veritable livewire saved plenty of runs – grassburns and all – for his country at the SCG and surrounds. Rating: 8/10

    JP Duminy
    (Mts: 6; Runs: 164; Bat Ave: 54.66; Wkts: 6; Bowl Ave: 33.66)
    Duminy proved characteristically solid with the bat and, more importantly, came to the fore with the ball. South Africa, for his burgeoning off-spin, were able to get away with not selecting a specialist fifth bowler time and time again. Rating: 7.5/10

    Rilee Rossouw
    (Mts: 6; Runs: 210; Bat Ave: 52.50)
    Rossouw all but forced his way into the first-choice XI on the back of a superb series against the West Indies shortly before the World Cup. Floating from positions three to six with varied success throughout the tournament, he was also the next in line to open the batting if De Kock was to be dropped. Rating: 7/10

    Hashim Amla
    (Mts: 8; Runs: 333; Bat Ave: 41.62)
    Amla arguably peaked too soon earlier this year and only scored big runs against weaker opposition – Ireland and the West Indies – at the World Cup. Three failures on the trot served as a premonition of sorts, as his downward spiral eventually coincided with South Africa’s semi-final exit. Rating: 6/10

    Quinton de Kock
    (Mts: 8; Runs: 145; Bat Ave: 20.71; Cts: 9; Sts: 1)
    The senior players – in runs and words – were prepared to carry De Kock’s weak form through the group stage in the hope he’d come good in the knockouts. This didn’t really transpire, but there’s no begrudging a young talent that’ll be significantly more experienced come the 2019 quest for redemption in England. Rating: 5/10

    Kyle Abbott
    (Mts: 4; Wkts: 9; Bowl Ave: 14.44)
    Billed as South Africa’s key to death-bowling success prior to the tournament, Abbott was never given enough chance to truly make the role his own. When he did play, he dutifully and diligently repaid the faith, but inexplicably remained behind Philander in the pecking order regardless. Rating: 8.5/10

    Vernon Philander
    (Mts: 4; Wkts: 4; Bowl Ave: 33.75; Runs: 10; Bat Ave: 10.00)
    Hampered by a hamstring injury and unable to replicate his success achieved at Test match level, Philander had a poor campaign. The all-rounder’s supposed extension of the batting order quickly became a moot point, and a World Cup semi-final was almost always going to yield an ill-timed return. Rating: 4/10

    Dale Steyn
    (Mts: 8; Wkts: 11; Bowl Ave: 31.45)
    South Africa needed Steyn and De Villiers to have big World Cups if a maiden title was to come home. The batsman obliged, the bowler didn’t – and the trophy will go elsewhere. Steyn blew hot here and there, but mostly cold. A heavy workload caught up with him in the final, resulting in a hamstring injury. Rating: 6/10

    Morne Morkel
    (Mts: 8; Wkts: 17; Bowl Ave: 17.58)
    The face of South Africa’s fast bowling in Australia and New Zealand, as Steyn flew under the radar a bit, Morkel benefited from conditions largely primed for pace, bounce and carry and took the country’s most wickets. Reduced to tears after defeat to the Kiwis, he epitomised the Proteas’ passion. Rating: 9/10

    Imran Tahir
    (Mts: 8; Wkts: 15; Bowl Ave: 21.53)
    Not quite the find of the World Cup for South Africa, but certainly one of the bigger consolations they’ll take home. Tahir was on the proverbial button throughout, deploying wrong’un and, dare we suggest, a ‘flipper’ of sorts with metronomic regularity. His quarter-final four-for was a particular treat. Rating: 9/10

    Farhaan Behardien
    (Mts: 4; Runs: 74; Bat Ave: -; Wkts: 0; Bowl Ave: -)
    Behardien was there and thereabouts in terms of selection, until De Villiers began to make meaningful contributions with the ball, which in turn earned Rossouw a full-time berth in the batting order. His role was probably never defined enough in the collective mind of the coaching staff. Rating: 4/10

    Wayne Parnell
    (Mts: 1; Wkts: 1; Bowl Ave: 85.00; Runs: 17; Bat Ave: -)
    Quickly deemed surplus to requirement for the remainder of the tour after a disastrous performance against India, Parnell’s one-dimensional bid to bowl fast and full rendered redundant the school of thought that he is at least effective during the middle overs. Rating: 2/10

    Aaron Phangiso
    (Mts: 0; Wkts: 0; Bowl Ave: 0)
    Effectively put in the squad a back-up to Tahir, Phangiso entered the frame briefly ahead of the game against the United Arab Emirates, and again before the quarter-final with Sri Lanka. Selecting two specialist spinners in the same XI in Australian conditions, though, was never going to happen. Rating: -/10



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