JON CARDINELLI rates the Proteas in the wake of their defeat to England in the first Test at Kingsmead.
DEAN ELGAR: 8/10
Played some beautiful strokes during his first innings of 118 not out, a gutsy innings that contrasted that of his Proteas peers. Got to 40 in his second innings before nicking off. One of the few players in the current side who appears up for a scrap.
STIAAN VAN ZYL: 4/10
Was clean bowled by Stuart Broad for 0 after misjudging a leave. Made a bigger impression in the second innings before his defence was breached again. Contributed with three wickets and a good catch in England’s second innings.
FAF DU PLESSIS: 3/10
Another forgettable Test match for Du Plessis. Made the rash decision to charge Moeen Ali in the first innings, but only succeeded in missing the ball completely. Played with more composure in the second innings, but ultimately succumbed to a great delivery by Steven Finn late on day four. Not in a good space.
HASHIM AMLA (c): 3/10
Amla’s downward spiral continues. In South Africa’s first innings, Amla survived one caught behind appeal and was then dropped by Alastair Cook. However, Amla failed to capitalise, and was out caught behind three overs later. Amla scored 12 in the second innings before edging yet another delivery to the wicketkeeper. As a captain, Amla made some poor decisions in this match, such as the call to shun the new ball when England were 224-6 in the second innings. England went on to finish on 326, adding 102 more runs against the old ball.
AB DE VILLIERS (wk): 6/10
Much was made about the decision to hand De Villiers the wicketkeeping duties given his importance to the side as a batsman. De Villiers got two starts (49 and 37) but failed to kick on. Battled behind the stumps on day three, dropping two catches. Was better on day four, and contributed a stumping as well as a good catch off Stiaan van Zyl’s bowling.
TEMBA BAVUMA: 3/10
An inconsistent effort by the relative newcomer. Stuck around late on day two, but was out early on day three to Stuart Broad for 10. Lost his head in the second innings when he left his crease and attempted to hit Moeen Ali out of the park. Bavuma missed the ball completely and was stumped.
JP DUMINY: 4/10
Duminy bowled one over in this Test match, so it cannot be said that he was selected as an all-rounder. Disappointed again in the first innings with a score of 2. Finished on 26 not out in the second innings. That latter effort may not be enough to see him retaining his place in the side.
DALE STEYN: 6/10
This rating is influenced by a shoulder injury that limited Steyn’s contribution to just 3.5 overs in the second innings. Bowled with fire and intensity on day one and finished the first innings with figures of 4-70. Contributed with the bat as well, especially in the first innings when he and Dean Elgar clubbed together for a valuable 54-run partnership.
DANE PIEDT: 7/10
Piedt has shown promise in his first three Tests, and deserves praise for a second-innings performance that culminated in his best figures (5-154). It was the first five-for by a South African Test spinner at Kingsmead since 1957.
KYLE ABBOTT: 5/10
Picked up the key wicket of Joe Root in the second innings, but otherwise had a quiet Test with the ball.
MORNE MORKEL: 7/10
South Africa’s standout performer at Kingsmead. A fiery spell early on day two led to an England batting collapse, and Morkel finished that innings with figures of 4-76. The lanky fast bowler continued to trouble batsmen in the second innings, and would have had more than one wicket had his team-mates held their catches. As it was, three catches were dropped off Morkel’s bowling.