Following the Proteas’ long-awaited T20I series win over the West Indies, CARL LEWIS weighs in by rating every South African who played during the series.
Earlier in the week, we brought you the ratings of RYAN VREDE who also opted to hand Tabraiz Shamsi a perfect 10/10 for his stunning bowling efforts against the West Indies.
To recap, South Africa clinched an impressive 3-2 seris win. After taking a hammering in the first T20I, the Proteas fought back to win three of the next four on a challenging wicket in Grenada.
The series win was led by the South African spinners as well as Quinton de Kock. The win is exactly what the Proteas white-ball side and coach Mark Boucher needed. There are many positives but the series also exposed glaring weaknesses in the Proteas T20 game.
Quinton de Kock 9.5/10
Picking up from the Test series, the captaincy-unshackled Quinton de Kock continued to soar in the Caribbean and was once again the most consistent batter across both teams throughout the series. He averaged 51 with a strike rate (SR) of 141. After two starts in the opening T20Is, De Kock converted those into three consecutive 50s to end the series. So much of South Africa’s success is aligned to how well De Kock bats – this is a major concern but also testimony to how crucial he is. A special talent.
Reeza Hendricks 5.5/10
The Proteas run rate during the PowerPlay was rarely a concern. Hendricks’ series SR was an impressive 139 with a top score of 42 but he failed to lock down the opening spot; he needs more consistency to accompany his attractive strokeplay. With the likes of Aiden Markram and Janneman Malan also challenging for that spot, he needed to provide a more comprehensive case for his inclusion.
Temba Bavuma 6/10
A series win over an experienced and explosive West Indies side cannot be understated in terms of its importance for this Proteas side as well as Bavuma’s captaincy. Personally, Bavuma knows he needs to produce more with the bat. His important 46 in the second T20I was the top score in the Proteas’ first win of the series. Thereafter, his form fell away but his stewardship in a crunch series scored him extra points. It was good to see a South African side get over the line in a must-win match.
Aiden Markram 8/10
We are not going to include Markram’s bowling as part of his scoring but, instead, only focus on his batting exploits. He threatened real impact in his first two outings with scores of 23 and 20. However, his class there for all to see in the series decider. Markram scored a man-of-the-match-worthy 70 off 48 runs and, alongside De Kock, set the foundation for the win in a pressure-cooker match.
Rassie van der Dussen 6.5/10
After scoring a 50 in the first match in what was a losing cause, Van der Dussen’s series flatlined somewhat although his 32 in the third ODI was vital. The Proteas’ lack of thrust in the final 10 overs has been the biggest concern for Mark Boucher and his coaching staff. Unfortunately, the Grenada pitch was also not the easiest but Van der Dussen would admit that increasing his SR at the back end of the innings should be his focus.
Heinrich Klaasen 3/10
Unfortunately, Klaasen has been struggling for some time and what makes it worse is that South Africa needs exactly this type of player when he fires. He can be very destructive in T20 cricket but it is not just working for him right now. His series SR was 75 on a challenging Grenada wicket. I would not give up on Klaasen too quickly, though, considering the lack of firepower available to the Proteas – but he desperately needs to find his mojo again.
David Miller 3/10
Another of the middle-order players who struggled on the Grenada wicket. Miller has a career SR of 138 but could muster only 108 throughout the series. He did play an innings that had a significant effect on the match. However, despite his form, his ability as a finisher and experience means he remains an important player for the Proteas.
George Linde 8/10
Linde would have scored much higher but his batting let him down, much like the other middle- and lower-order batters. But, his bowling was top class and is one of the main reasons the Proteas won this series. Outside the first T20I, Linde picked up at least a wicket in every match. He also played a supporting role to Tabraiz Shamsi to near perfection. Linde has definitely secured his place in the Proteas T20I and ODI side going forward.
Wiaan Mulder 7/10
Mulder played just one match and it was the series decider where he bowled impressively in pressure situations. It was good to see how well Mulder executed his yorkers at stages during the final T20I. Dwaine Pretorius might be ahead of him in the pecking order, but Mulder did show the importance of an all-rounder for the Proteas T20I lineup.
Kagiso Rabada 6.5/10
KG was very expensive in the series, going at 9.44 runs per over after the five matches. Despite that, Rabada did show us several times how good he really is in white-ball cricket – this includes the series decider where he picked up 2-24. He was expensive in the five matches but ended the series with the joint-most series wickets (7) for South Africa. He remains one of the most important Proteas players.
Anrich Nortje 8/10
Nortje was exceptional in the series and although he did not pick up as many wickets (4) as he would have liked, his economy of 7.00 was crucial. He bowled important overs (at important times) and struck at key times in the four matches he played. He is a big part of the Proteas strongest XI going forward.
Lungi Ngidi 4.5/10
Ngidi’s confidence is a major concern. He was superb in the Test series but has struggled in white-ball cricket for some time now. His economy of 10.94 is not sustainable if South Africa want to be a factor in the T20 World Cup later this year. It needs improvement like yesterday to bring his confidence back.
Tabraiz Shamsi 10/10
The series was officially Shamsi’s coronation as the Proteas premier white-ball spinner. Even though he was the world’s No 1 T20 bowler, there did not seem to be (enough) acknowledgement of his quality. This is because Imran Tahir left such a positive imprint in the minds of South African cricket fans. Shamsi was simply unplayable throughout the series, with an economy of just 4.00! He was also the joint-highest wicket-taker for the Proteas. Like De Kock in the Test series, Shamsi was the biggest difference between the two sides. He deserves all the plaudits that come his way after this series.
Bjorn Fortuin 5/10
Fortuin only played one match and bowled just one over, conceding 11 runs. He is usually a reliable white-ball spinner and can bowl effectively in the PowerPlay, which was something the Proteas needed during the series. It is hard to judge a player on one over.