As the Proteas look to repeat their 5-0 ODI series whitewash against Sri Lanka in SA, we look at the top five performers from 2017.
Faf du Plessis
The Proteas skipper was remarkable against Sri Lanka last time out. He completed two centuries in the series, including a career-best 185 in the fourth ODI, 105 in the second ODI and 55 in the first. His performance was especially memorable as he finished as the top scorer in the series, with 410 runs at an average of 102.50.
He failed to replicate this form in the first three ODIs in Sri Lanka and, unfortunately, won’t be taking any further part in the last two after injuring his shoulder in the third ODI, which sealed the series for the visitors.
Parnell’s left-arm swing did the trick against Sri Lanka last time out. He finished with 11 wickets in the series with best match figures of 4-58 in the fourth ODI at Newlands. This was the last home series for the 29-year-old as he failed to make the ODI squad again, after the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
The bearded genius scored a century and a half-century in the series last time out. Having scored 59 in the Proteas’ 78-run win in Sri Lanka this time around, the Proteas opener only needs a century in one of the last two ODIs to repeat the success he had during the home series, where he scored 261 runs, including a ruthless 154 in the final ODI to solidify the 5-0 whitewash. With an average of 59.25 and two centuries in his nine matches in Sri Lanka, the odds are good that Amla will finish off the tour with a bang.
Quinton de Kock
The wicketkeeper-batsman had a similar performance to his opening partner, also scoring a century and a half-century last time out, and he has had an amazing start to the ODI series in Sri Lanka. His innings of 109 in the home series came in the last ODI, sharing a 187-run stand with Hashim Amla. The pair will be hoping to exert similar dominance during the final two ODIs in Sri Lanka.
The right-arm spinner played in all five games in South Africa. He took 10 wickets during the series whitewash, including 3-26 in the first ODI in Port Elizabeth, a performance that played a key role in the Proteas skittling Sri Lanka for 181. Tahir has been rested for the tour to Sri Lanka but has been in action in England in the T20 Blast, which would have offered him invaluable insight into white-ball bowling on England pitches ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England.
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