The Proteas were helpless to prevent yet another batting collapse as they slumped to a 3-1 series defeat by England at the Wanderers. WADE PRETORIUS rates the players.
Dean Elgar – 4
Perhaps it is record and the uncanny ability to always bounce back from a run of low scores with a big knock that had many convinced of Elgar’s integral role in the side. His mode and timing of dismissal in the second innings – a mistimed hook shortly before lunch – and his total of just 50 in the Test means he is now one of many uncertain of his place.
Pieter Malan – 3
Still new to the arena, the opener will be given a few more chances to prove himself but he heads back to the franchise game with plenty to ponder. Getting out to the first ball after drinks with a firm push outside off will not have pleased those in the system working to get him into top shape.
Rassie van der Dussen – 6
A duck and 98. If that doesn’t sum up the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the entire squad at the moment, then what will? Again, he will be left scratching his head at the nature of his dismissal when three figures was just one shot away.
Faf du Plessis – 3
The 38 runs in what must surely be his last Test on home soil is not the way he would’ve wanted to depart the scene he served with distinction. Known for his ability to grind out long stays in the middle, Faf was outsmarted by the English in their bid to unsettle him. Stuart Broad was a key instigator and the South African skipper clearly doesn’t spend too much time reading about himself online.
Quinton de Kock – 7
76 and a near run-a-ball 39 to claim the mantle as the series’ leading run-scorer. Nothing to say really about the only world-class batsman in the current lineup. He moved up to No 5 for this Test, maybe he will be at 4 in the next? We live in hope.
Temba Bavuma – 3
His 6 and 27 aren’t enough to silence the doubters. It cannot be easy playing under such intense speculation regarding his place in the side, but the only way to truly erase the uncertainty that will rumble on into the next series.
Vernon Philander – 3
Rated for his display in this Test alone and not for the years of fantastic service. It was a forgettable farewell as he added just two wickets to his tally before limping out of his final bow with the ball.
Dwaine Pretorius – 3
39 runs across two innings and just two wickets. He’s a bit-part player and not the all-rounder that the side craves. His pace is not threatening enough and while his first-innings knock was decent, his future in the side must be in serious doubt.
Anrich Nortje – 7
A first five-wicket haul will be a bittersweet reminder of his part in the series as the aggressive fast bowler suffered a bit with the different strategies he was tasked with. One of the few players to have cemented his place in the side despite the heavy loss.
Beuran Hendricks – 6
Came back well after his first innings return of 1-111 to grab a five-wicket haul on debut. But his success came after the horse had bolted. It will please the coaching staff to see his will for the fight. His variation in the attack will no doubt lead to more games in this format.
Dane Paterson – 4
Simply not a wicket-taking option because of his lack of pace and/or bounce. He offers very little variation to the ‘threat’ of Dwaine Pretorius and the experiment of his role in the side failed.
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