One of Zubayr Hamza or Pieter Malan will become the 100th Proteas Test cricketer since 1991 in this week’s series finale against Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, writes JONHENRY WILSON.
Six of the 100 – bowlers Hardus Viljoen, Tertius Bosch, all-rounders Albie Morkel and Adrian Kuiper, and batsmen Imraan Khan and Mark Rushmere – never earned more than one Test cap.
- Rushed Rushmere
Rushmere debuted shortly after South Africa’s post-political isolation return to international cricket, as the Test XI looked beyond Jimmy Cook as an opener. He fell for three in both innings against the West Indies at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, removed by fast bowler Curtley Ambrose on both occasions.
- Donald and Bosch
Bosch debuted in the same Test as Rushmere, opening the bowling alongside pace ace Allan Donald. He took three wickets in the match, but not that of Brian Lara or Desmond Haynes. Bosch passed away in mysterious circumstances eight years later, at the age of 33.
- Kickstart Kuiper
Another one to debut against the West Indies, Kuiper became more renowned as an ODI all-rounder than a Test match specialist. He made 34 in the first innings and was bowled for a duck by Courtney Walsh in the second.
- Graeme Smith 2.0
Khan replaced the injured Graeme Smith for the third Test against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town in March 2009. He fell for just 20 in a first innings that yielded centuries for Ashwell Prince, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers – and was not afforded a second chance in an innings and 20-run victory for the Proteas.
- Albie over Parnell
Preferred to fellow squad member Wayne Parnell, Morkel also debuted at Newlands in March 2009. He removed Ricky Ponting for a duck in the first innings, but proved wicketless and expensive in the second. His brisk 58, meanwhile, complemented Prince, Kallis and De Villiers’ tons. Like Kuiper, Morkel was more a limited-overs specialist than a genuine Test match option.
- Fleeting Viljoen
Viljoen avoided the temptation to move to New Zealand and was eventually rewarded with a Test debut against England at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in January 2016. He took the wicket of Alastair Cook with his first delivery in international cricket, but later proved costly in heavy defeat for the hosts. Viljoen has since signed a Kolpak contract and continues to forge a successful career in English county cricket.
- Two-cap tasters
The following players didn’t gain more than two Test caps: Marchant de Lange, Ryan McLaren, Friedel de Wet, Charl Willoughby, Alan Dawson, Justin Ontong, Pieter Strydom, Steven Jack.
Unlike Willoughby, Jack and others, Shamsi, McLaren and De Lange are still playing professional cricket. Only Shamsi, though, is likely to build on his two Test caps.