Tom Sizeland rates the Proteas’ performances after their whitewash series victory against Sri Lanka.
QUINTON DE KOCK – 223 runs @ 44.60, HS: 109, SR: 108.25
Looks a more complete batsman with every series he plays. Probably only behind David Warner in the world in terms of the natural aggressiveness he brings to the top of the order. Got better as the series wore on, and his wicketkeeping has improved drastically too.
HASHIM AMLA – 261 runs @ 52.20, HS: 154, SR: 92.55
Turned an uneventful series into a good one with his second-best score on Friday. His 154 was beautifully measured, taking time to reach his century before having the stamina to whip out the maximums at the back-end of the innings. If there’s a fault to his game at the moment, it’s that he needs to find consistency, with some below-par performances wedged in between the half-century and century.
FAF DU PLESSIS – 410 runs @ 102.50, HS: 185, SR: 105.12
A class above the rest in this series in what has been an incredible summer for the Test skipper. With or without the captain’s armband, Du Plessis continues to reach new heights, and is quickly turning into a world-class batsman. The way he picked off the 1s and 2s in his first century in Durban was masterful, and he took his game to a new level in Cape Town, falling three runs short of Gary Kirsten’s record 188.
AB DE VILLIERS – 171 runs @ 57.00, HS: 64, SR: 104.26
We didn’t see the best of De Villiers in this series, but his presence and intent in the middle order and his energy in the field was a welcome return to the side. Captaining a team to a whitewash series victory is nothing to be sniffed at, but he needs to get more out of his bowlers in the pressure situations.
JP DUMINY – 69 runs @ 23.00, HS: 28*, SR: 74.19, 2 wickets @ 47.00, Econ: 5.87
Tough series for Duminy, and there are no excuses, for he had plenty of opportunities to show his worth at No 5. Every time he had the chance to produce a significant knock, it was down to the No 6 to do the work for him. David Miller got them out of a tangle in the second ODI, while Behardien did a good finishing job in the fourth and fifth ODIs. Not a single innings with a strike rate over 100. Much more is expected from one of South Africa’s most experienced players.
FARHAAN BEHARDIEN – 68 runs @ 68.00, HS: 36*, SR: 170.00
Behardien did exactly what was asked of him, and he did it well. It’s never easy coming in to bat with six overs left, but he kept the boundaries flowing. Produced a decent run out at Centurion too, but his part-time efforts with the ball aren’t required.
WAYNE PARNELL – 11 wickets @ 17.36, BB: 4-58, Econ: 5.93
It will go down as a good series for Parnell, who emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the series. He took important wickets up front, removing at least one opener, if not both, in every match he played. He was by the far the most expensive SA bowler though, struggling to find consistent lengths or pace with the new ball. He’ll be tested far more against stronger opposition, so he has to find the consistency to match his wicket-taking ability.
CHRIS MORRIS – 8 wickets @ 15.62, BB: 4-31, Econ: 3.73
In a series that rarely saw the run rate dip below six an over, Morris’s 3.73 economy rate was extremely impressive. It was a solid return from injury for the all-rounder, who saved his best for last with a career best 4-31 at Centurion.
ANDILE PHEHLUKWAYO – 3 wickets @ 40.66, BB: 2-26, Econ: 5.30
A quiet series for Phehlukwayo, who didn’t seem to have too much backing from the skipper throughout. He was used sparingly in each match, and will have to get his pace up if he wants to thrive in this format on the biggest stage. He took two important wickets in the third ODI, but with his confidence up was strangely rested for the next match.
DWAINE PRETORIUS – 5 wickets @ 14.80, BB: 3-19, Econ: 4.93
Unlucky not to get more of a run around. Bowled really well in his two matches, earning the Man of the Match award in the third ODI, and was arguably the best bowler when the pressure was on at Newlands.
KAGISO RABADA – 6 wickets @ 37.66, BB: 2-39, Econ: 5.13
Shouldered too much responsibility, and it’s something the brains trust are going to have to look at with raised priority leading up to the Champions Trophy. Should he have bowled 44 overs in a series that his side dominated? Absolutely not. Bowled really well with the slightly older ball at Newlands, which is also something to keep in mind.
IMRAN TAHIR – 10 wickets @ 20.60, BB: 3-26, Econ: 4.27
Another excellent series for the leg-spinner, who fell away a bit in the last two matches, but completely outplayed the Sri Lankans at their own game in the first three. Mixed things up nicely, rarely gave away any freebies, but became too predictable with his use of the googly at times.
Tabraiz Shamsi – 0 wickets, Econ: 6.00
David Miller – 117 runs @ 117.00, SR: 119.38
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images