ODI cricket has changed a lot in the last 20 years or so, but a strike rate of around 100 runs remains the gold standard for scoring in the format. Here, we feature seven South African batsmen who have scored the fastest throughout their careers.
7. Rilee Rossouw – 94.36 runs per 100 balls
Before he took up a Kolpak deal, Rossouw showed a great deal of promise in an ODI career blighted by injury. He only played 36 ODIs, but still cracked over 1,000 runs, including three centuries. Rossouw was used up and down the Proteas’ batting order, never quite settling, before giving up the international game.
6. Heinrich Klaasen – 94.80 runs per 100 balls
Klaasen hasn’t been afforded too many opportunities, but he has made a splash in both T20Is and ODI cricket. His breakthrough ODI series came earlier this year against Australia, when he smashed a century and two half-tons in a three-match series. Klaasen has some task on his hands to keep up his impressive start, but if he can stay fit, he should be bullying attacks for years to come.
5. Quinton de Kock – 94.84 runs per 100 balls
Arguably the best player of his generation, the Proteas’ new skipper has blasted his way beyond 5,000 runs in ODI cricket at a rapid rate. It did not take long for the wicketkeeper-batsman to establish himself as the South African white-ball opener of choice. He has the second-most runs of the top seven strikers featured in this list and could end up with an enormous collection and national and international records before his career is done.
4. Farhaan Behardien – 97.90 runs per 100 balls
Behardien hasn’t always been a fan favourite, but he has ensured that his runs were scored at a decent rate. The former Titans finisher did what was asked of him in a difficult role, and his impact on the side has been underestimated. He played the last of his 59 ODIs in 2018 and seems unlikely to add to that tally having also taken up a Kolpak deal in county cricket.
3. David Miller – 100.62 runs per 100 balls
The first of just three players to have a career scoring rate of over six runs per over, Miller is one of the purest strikers of the ball to have played for South Africa. He has maintained an average of over 40 across 132 ODIs despite often being required to be the man who gets on with business at the death. His five ODI tons include two match-winning ones against arch-rivals Australia.
2 AB de Villiers – 101.27 runs per 100 balls
De Villiers deserves a category of his own when it comes to incredible feats in the green and gold, and it is no surprise he is near the summit on this list. De Villiers has the quickest scoring rate of any South African with more than 1,000 ODI runs to their name. ‘Mr 360′ can seemingly change the tempo of a match at will and played 213 innings in ODI cricket for his 9,427 runs.
1 Albie Morkel – 101.33 runs per 100 balls
The older brother of one of South Africa’s great fast bowlers, Albie Morkel is a freakish cricketer in an unassuming shell. Morkel played 50 T20Is alongside the 58 ODIs he turned out in between 2004 and 2012. He was a thorn in Australia’s side on the 2009 tour Down Under, where he scored two quickfire 40s from No 8.
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