• Three recollections on Rudolph’s birthday

    Former Proteas batsman Jacques Rudolph turned 39 years old on Monday, 4 May 2020. Rudolph played 48 Tests, 45 ODIs and one T20I between 2003 and 2012.

    Rudolph the debutant

    • Rudolph’s maiden innings in Test cricket yielded a record-breaking double century. He struck 222 not out against Bangladesh in Chattogram in 2003. His is one of only five double tons to be struck on Test debut. New Zealand’s Mathew Sinclair, Sri Lanka’s Brendon Kuruppu, England’s Tip Foster, West Indian Lawrence Rowe did the same. Nobody has struck a double century on Test debut since Rudolph.

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    Rudolph the dynamic

    • The steely left-hander batted up and down the order in Test and ODI cricket, as high as the opening berth or as low as seventh position. More than a third of his 83 Test innings came at third, for an average of 46. But he also batted fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. He averaged over 50 at fourth, under 30 at fifth and sixth – and a lowly 7.75 at seventh.

    Rudolph the outspoken

    •  ‘I genuinely feel gutted for the Proteas players at the moment, however, a fish rots from the head. Cricket South Africa should take full responsibility for where we are now at as a cricketing nation. Structurally there are things which need looking at and, along with massive financial challenges, it makes it difficult as a collective to do well. I believe that when you have strong leadership at the top it filters right down through your national team and all the way to your franchise level,’ he told Sport24 in November 2019. CSA has since employed director of cricket Graeme Smith, head coach Mark Boucher and batting coach Jacques Kallis. Former Proteas fast bowler Allan Donald, meanwhile, will be head coach of the Knights.

    Photo: Getty Images

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