• SA vs Eng: Report cards

    Kobus Pretorius rates all the Proteas who played in the ODI series against England, which South Africa won 3-2.

    Quinton de Kock 8/10
    He scored two hundreds in the series and was the third-highest run-scorer with 326 at an average of 81.5, a strike-rate of 106.88 and a highest score of 138 not out. Watching De Kock in this series, it’s hard to believe he was dropped towards the middle of last year after a poor run of form. He fought his way back with runs for SA A and at domestic level for the Titans and has the potential to become one of the best ODI batsman in the world. He can only get better, but consistency will be key.

    Hashim Amla 6/10
    Still not as consistent as he would like to be, but Amla has improved after a frustrating lack of runs recently. His 127 in the third ODI helped South Africa turn the corner as they embarked on three ‘finals’ in a row, as he called it, to win the series. His 59 at Newlands was part of a 125-run partnership with AB de Villiers which laid the foundation for South Africa’s five-wicket victory.

    Faf du Plessis 5/10
    Still finding his way back to consistent runs and looks like the batsman who was most affected by what happened in India. His highest score in the series was 55, which was his only fifty. It isn’t good enough for a No 3 batsman and someone of Du Plessis’ ability.

    AB de Villiers 8/10
    By his own admission he went through a rough patch with the bat over the last month, but De Villiers’ unbeaten 101 in the deciding ODI won South Africa the game and the series. He admitted that he loves to perform in the pressure moments, and the fact that he does perform more often than not makes him a special player and sets him apart from most. His captaincy also continues to improve.

    JP Duminy 3/10
    Dangerously close to losing his place in the side completely. Duminy is a serial under-performer and woefully inconsistent. His bowling has also been poor to the point where De Villiers can no longer rely on him to fulfil the fifth bowler duties with any kind of confidence. Duminy shouldn’t be considered an all-rounder, which means scoring runs is the only way he can stay in the side.

    Farhaan Behardien 4/10
    It would have been five, but Behardien’s shot to get out on Sunday cost him an extra point. He often has to bat with the tail so he shouldn’t be judged on the number of runs he scores alone. Was twice not out in the four innings he played but the question is whether he’s a better batsman than Rilee Rossouw or David Miller, two of the players he is keeping out of the team.

    Chris Morris 6/10
    He only played three of the five games but his match-winning innings in the fourth ODI at the Wanderers, where he scored 62, proved his worth with the bat. His bowling still isn’t up to standard but as an all-rounder, he adds much needed balance to the side.

    David Wiese 5/10
    The jury is still out on Wiese, despite his unbeaten knock of 41 at Newlands. He plays too infrequently to judge him fairly but there is promise. Together with Morris he gives South Africa more options down the order. The competition between the two should bring out the best in them.

    Kyle Abbott 7/10
    Together with Kagiso Rabada, South Africa’s best bowler in the series. Abbott took his chances and finished as the joint third-highest wicket-taker with eight. His disciplined bowling is a key component of the bowling attack and he complements the other bowlers well. Should play more regularly in the future.

    Imran Tahir 6/10
    Got better as the series progressed. Also took eight wickets in the series but was a tad more expensive than usual. Tahir makes a big difference to the side when he plays well. Was particularly good in the last two games.

    Rilee Rossouw 5/10
    Also played only three games so it’s difficult to rate him properly and the rating doesn’t reflect his quality as a player. Rossouw is an exciting prospect and deserves an extended run in the team.

    Kagiso Rabada 8/10
    Continues to be South Africa’s best bowler in the absence of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with Morne Morkel not at his best, perhaps due to being overplayed. Rabada was rested for the first ODI and the team management should be commended for taking that chance. He still needs to be managed well but was the top wicket-taker for the Proteas in this series with nine scalps.

    Morne Morkel 6/10
    Was rested for the last two games but did reasonably well in the first three and deserved his time off after a gruelling few months in the absence of Steyn and Philander. Morkel may have been omitted from South Africa’s T20 plans, but he continues to be an important part of the set-up.

    Marchant de Lange 3/10
    Only played the first game of the series in which the bowlers took a hiding as England smashed 399. Took two wickets in that game but conceded 87 runs in his 10 overs and doesn’t yet look good enough to play consistently at the highest level. Will have to improve dramatically to oust the likes of Rabada, Abbott, Morris (who offers something with the bat) and Morkel.