For all the excitement, anticipation and general hype brought by the Twenty20 International debuts of Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks and Kagiso Rabada, the limelight – for better or worse – missed Wayne Parnell.
A relatively experienced campaigner in the current attack, given the absence of Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, who have all been rested prior to the ODI series against Australia, Parnell has shouldered the responsibility well.
Peculiar hairstyle aside, there has been plenty of substance to his approach this week. Guiding the fledgling Rabada and ably supporting Kyle Abbott, Parnell’s esoteric influence complemented his foremost role with the ball superbly.
Much was made of right-armer Abbott’s bowling through the closing throes of the innings in the first T20I, but left-armer Parnell delivered as many yorkers, and probably less low full tosses, than his fellow death bowler in Sydney.
In Melbourne, where his cohorts consistently erred in length and width, the southpaw seamer kept it full and straight throughout. Aaron Finch and Shane Watson, otherwise largely unchallenged, were genuinely troubled by Parnell.
This has been somewhat of a watershed week for the 25-year-old, whose penchant for parties and oft-public label as a non-thinking bowler has all but been empowered in a country where it all started for the young rookie back in 2008.