Following the Proteas’ 2-0 series win over the West Indies, CARL LEWIS ranks every South African’s performance during the series in St Lucia.
Dean Elgar 7/10
His captaincy tenure got off to the perfect start and he definitely passed in that respect. He handled his bowling changes well against a beleaguered West Indian batting unit. His batting, though, produced mixed results; Elgar got a duck in the first Test but made a crucial first-innings 77 in the second. Generally speaking, a positive series for him.
Aiden Markram 6.5/10
Markram was flying during the first Test after a mature and assured 60 to help South Africa take control of the match. By the second Test, he was limping along with scores of nil and four. He does get a half point for his fielding, which remains outstanding. He took four catches in the series and looks like the long-term option at second slip.
Keegan Petersen 4/10
With scores of 19, 7 and 18, Petersen did not have the ideal debut series. He did look comfortable on a technical level and made two starts but failed to capitalise on those. His position at No 3 is still up for grabs and he’ll hope for at least another chance at Test level again.
Rassie van der Dussen 8/10
The right-hander is fast becoming South Africa’s ‘Mr Dependable’ across all formats. Van der Dussen played an important innings in each Test with scores of 46, 4 and 75*. His temperament and ability to deliver when needed are two noticeable strengths – he is now undeniably a key senior player for the Proteas.
Kyle Verreynne 4/10
Verreyne was the other debutant in the series and, like Petersen, did not have the most lucrative series in terms of runs. Unlike Petersen, Verreynne has played ODI cricket before this, so that can be referenced alongside his scores of 6, 27 and 6 in the series. Although he would’ve wanted a more successful time in the Caribbean personally, there was at least some substance in his gritty 27 in the second Test.
Quinton de Kock 10/10
De Kock stood head and shoulders above any other batter, simply on another level and at times it seemed he was playing on a different track in St Lucia. His 141* in the first Test was quite possibly his best-ever Test innings. De Kock was officially back in form after a lengthy barren spell with the bat, on course for consecutive Test centuries but he fell four runs short in the second Test. He was superb and reaffirmed himself as the Proteas’ best and most important batter during the series.
Wiaan Mulder 7/10
Mulder had some very good moments, including his spell of 3-1, his hat-trick catch off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj and his 53-run partnership with De Kock in the first innings. Mulder was solid if not spectacular against the Windies. He’ll have to focus on offering more with the bat to truly cement his place in the side.
Keshav Maharaj 9/10
A great series for Maharaj. A confidence booster for him but also a reminder of his immense quality. Steady in both Tests, playing a holding role but also picking up key wickets at crucial moments. In the final innings of the second Test, when it seemed the series would be all about De Kock and the Proteas fast-bowling trio, Maharaj became the first South African since readmission to bag a hat-trick. In the process of making history, he also grabbed himself a seventh Test-match five-wicket haul.
Kagiso Rabada 9/10
Rabada bowled like the leader of the Proteas attack throughout the series. He bowled rapidly, accurately and was constantly a menace to the West Indian batters. ‘KG’ bowled with so much control and success, he ended as the visitors’ highest wicket-taker. It was long overdue for one of the few world-class players in the Proteas lineup.
Anrich Nortje 8.5/10
Nortje continues to deliver and was consistently quick during the series. He threatened the Windies in almost every spell he bowled, especially in the first Test as South Africa’s best bowler in the match.
Lungi Ngidi 8/10
Ngidi’s five-wicket haul in the first innings of the first Test set the tone for the series, but was also a big moment for him personally. After picking up his second Test match five-for, his celebration suggested that the success meant a lot to him and came at the right time. His impressive form also gave South African fans a preview of the damage a motivated Rabada, Nortje and Ngidi could do to the opposition.