Tom Sizeland rates the Proteas’ performances after their 3-2 series victory against New Zealand.
QUINTON DE KOCK – 200 runs @ 40.00, HS: 69, SR: 95.23
A mixed campaign for De Kock, who fell away in the last two matches after scoring three fifties in a row. Second in the run-scoring charts, but he will be chary of the fact that he continuously gets dismissed in the same manner. He’s been caught a worrying 15 times in his last 16 international innings. If he can eradicate the soft dismissals, he will surely return to the form that saw him make a name for himself for converting his 50s into centuries.
HASHIM AMLA – 100 runs @ 20.00, HS: 40, SR: 70.92
Amla is certainly not himself at the moment. After his 154 in the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka and then a 62 in the one-off T20 at Eden Park, he had us believing we were going to be in for another glut of runs. He constantly struggled to get going however, and was particularly painful to watch in the third match in Wellington. He’s the type of player who will be able to bounce back when it matters most, and he’s got three ODIs coming up against England now to return to form in time for the Champions Trophy.
FAF DU PLESSIS – 179 runs @ 44.75, HS: 67, SR: 66.79
Not the best series by his new-found high standards, but he was still the Proteas’ third-highest run-scorer. Had to walk to the crease in the Powerplay overs in all but one match, and changed gears accordingly. His unbeaten 51 was crucial to the win in the fifth ODI, and he can’t be blamed for the way he paced his 67 in the fourth match, after the way the Hamilton track behaved in the first match.
AB DE VILLIERS – 262 runs @ 87.33, HS: 85, SR: 107.81
Contributions with the bat in every single match from a man that simply never seems to be out of form. Leading a side to an away series victory in New Zealand is no mean feat, yet you always felt like the Proteas were going to do it. Even his 23 in the decider gave his side a bit of impetus and took the sting out of the chase. But it all started with his unbeaten 37 and his composed partnership with Andile Phehlukwayo that allowed the side to make it 12 wins in a row.
JP DUMINY – 79 runs @ 15.80, HS: 34, SR: 59.39, 0 wickets @ 00.00, Econ: 6.71
The Proteas take a lot of pride in their top six. There’s no side in world cricket at the moment who have a more consistent and prolific top six than the Proteas. But after another five-match series with nothing to show, it’s debatable whether JP Duminy deserves to be there. He won’t get dropped now – we’re too close to the Champions Trophy – but he’s not justifying the faith of the selectors, and the rest of the top six are carrying him at the moment. With so much experience, does he have the temperament to come back from this? He was used sparingly as a sixth bowler, sending down seven, expensive, wicketless overs. Gets marks for his presence in the field.
DAVID MILLER – 77 runs @ 25.66, HS: 45*, SR: 90.58
Came right in the last match with an important 45 not out, but gave his wicket away too easily in his previous three matches. He was unfortunate to be injured straight after his century against Sri Lanka, so it was good to see him find some form at Eden Park, and could prove very important should he be in those match situations in the coming months.
WAYNE PARNELL – 64 runs @ 21.33, HS: 35, SR: 133.33, 3 wickets @ 42.00, BB: 2-33, Econ: 5.47
Of the four all-rounders the Proteas utilised in the series, Parnell has probably shown the most application with the bat after being involved in two huge partnerships with De Villiers, before he was selflessly run out both times. The Proteas desperately need a lethal new-ball partner to accompany Kagiso Rabada, however, and Parnell hasn’t quite displayed the consistency to gain De Villiers’ unwavering trust. A useful all-rounder, but too expensive at key moments to have the selectors believing that they don’t need a Vernon Philander or a Morne Morkel there.
CHRIS MORRIS – 51 runs @ 17.00, HS: 28, SR: 100.00, 5 wickets @ 41.60, BB: 4-62, Econ: 5.94
Ripped apart the New Zealand top order in the first ODI, but never recovered from conceding 25 runs in the last over of his spell in that match, only taking one more wicket in the series.
ANDILE PHEHLUKWAYO – 59 runs @ n/a, HS: 29*, SR: 101.72, 4 wickets @ 34.25, BB: 2-12, Econ: 5.26
Phehlukwayo certainly has the appetite for the biggest stage, playing his part in yet another incredible ODI chase in the first match. He shouldn’t shoulder any blame for the way he handled the second contest in Christchurch, for the top order should have done the job. Perhaps lacks the pace to take wickets regularly, but made the most of it by displaying excellent control and variations.
DWAINE PRETORIUS – 71 runs @ 23.66, HS: 50, SR: 120.33, 5 wickets @ 27.20, BB: 3-5, Econ: 4.34
A collection of stand-out performances from Pretorius, getting his side close to 13 wins in a row, with a scintillating half-century, before his 3-5 in Wellington rattled the hosts. Like Phehlukwayo, doesn’t possess the pace to perform well on slow tracks as Rabada can, but he’s now very much a part of the quartet of all-rounders likely to board the plane to England.
KAGISO RABADA – 8 wickets @ 17.00, BB: 3-25, Econ: 4.22
This was one of Rabada’s finest series in coloured clothing for South Africa. With all the talk surrounding whether he needs to be rested more often, and whether he’s capable of leading the attack at such a young age, he’s handled it all brilliantly. Only went above five an over in one match, and it’s no coincidence that the win record ended in the one match he was rested for. It goes to show just how important he is to this team, and another Man of the Match performance in Auckland was the cherry on top.
IMRAN TAHIR – 6 wickets @ 32.66, BB: 2-14, Econ: 4.78
His incredible 2-14 in the fifth match saved what was an otherwise average series for Tahir by his standards. Perhaps tries to force the issue too much when he’s under pressure, but when he’s on song, the No 1 bowler in the world will be crucial to the Proteas’ chances of success in the Champions Trophy.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Gallo Images