We take a look at the top five Proteas performers after South Africa’s series defeat to England.
The 32-year-old speedster ended as South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the series and was rewarded for his efforts as he landed the South African Man of the Series award. The tall speedster, renowned for his short, quick deliveries, revealed in the series post-match presentation that he had worked on his full-length deliveries and it truly paid off as he took 19 wickets in total. He also had the opportunity to continue his battle with Alastair Cook, who he has dismissed 12 times, more than any other batsmen has dismissed him in his career.
Stats: 19 wickets @ 26.36, BB 4-85
Labelled by Shaun Pollock as the ‘the best spinner SA has seen in a while’, the Proteas left-arm orthodox took 17 wickets in the series. This was an improvement on his last series against New Zealand, which saw him end the top of the pile for wickets in that series with 15 scalps. He was a consistent wicket-taker throughout the England series and only went wicketless in one innings. The spinner was effective at holding up an end as well as taking the attack to the opposition.
Stats: 17 wickets @ 30.35, BB 4-85
The 27-year-old was moved around in the batting lineup throughout the series, batting at No 6, No 5 and No 4. His average of 32.12 is not a true reflection of the Proteas batter’s contribution to the side, as he always found himself walking in when the pressure was on. His fighting spirit saw him rack up 257 runs, which included 59 at Lord’s, 52 at The Oval, and a gritty 46 in Manchester. He also managed to reach 1 000 Test runs quicker than Jacques Kallis.
257 runs @ 32.12, HS 59
South Africa’s only centurion in the series hit 136 in the second innings of the Proteas’ 239-run defeat to the hosts. Elgar’s century was the Proteas’ first century by a South African batsman in 10 innings. The last time a player scored a century for SA, was when Elgar scored 140 in the first innings against New Zealand in March as they continued to struggle for big scores. Elgar also racked up two half-centuries in the series, his 80 vital in SA’s second Test victory in Nottingham.
Stats: 291 runs @ 36.37, HS 136
Quinton de Kock:
Although De Kock under-performed in the series with the bat according to his standards, managing 68 in Nottingham and 51 Lord’s, it was his wicket-keeping which was special to watch. The 24-year-old had the most dismissals in the series, with 19, two more than his opposite number, Jonny Bairstow. Despite some noticeably missed opportunities and an embarrassing error in the first innings of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, he managed to break yet another record. On the first day of the fourth Test, De Kock dove to his right to dismiss England’s Tom Westley on 29 and became the second-quickest to 100 wicketkeeper dismissals in history, equalling Adam Gilchrist’s record of achieving the milestone in 22 matches.
Stats: 185 runs @ 23.12, HS 68, 19 catches, two stumpings
Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images