We take a look at the top five potential replacements for AB de Villiers in the Proteas’ ODI side.
1. Aiden Markram
The 23-year-old has already taken to Test cricket like a duck to water and was handed the almost impossible task of captaining the Proteas’ ODI side against India in February. Although he had a horrible series with the Proteas losing 6-1, Markram has shown amazing potential to fill the No 4 or opening position in the Proteas’ XI. He showed amazing potential domestically in List A matches, scoring 1,200 runs in 32 innings which included a top-score of 183 against the Lions in March 2017. He also managed 66 against Bangladesh on his ODI debut.
2. Heinrich Klaasen
The Titans wicketkeeper-batsman was one of the shining lights in India’s limited-overs mauling of the Proteas. The 26-year-old made up for his six runs scored on debut against India, by scoring a crucial unbeaten 43 off 27 balls to hand the Proteas a pink ODI victory and their only win of the series. His quick-fire approach could be compared to De Villiers’ and he proved this in the Proteas’ only T20 victory against India in their 2-1 series defeat, scoring a 30-ball 69. His performances landed him a contract with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
3. Reeza Hendricks
The Lions batsman showed his class for both franchise and country. He stood out in the T20I series against India by scoring 70 in a losing cause, but it was for the Lions where he showed his talent in the T20 Challenge. In a tournament that saw all the Proteas players return, Hendricks finished as the leading run-scorer with 361 runs, one century, two half-centuries, an average of 120.33 and a strike rate of 137.78 in eight matches. De Villiers played seven matches in the tournament and scored 259 at an average of 64.75 with two 50s.
4. Pieter Malan
Is it too late to hand the 28-year-old his debut? He was the Cobras’ Player of the Season and finished first on the run-scoring charts in the Momentum One Day Cup this season. He scored 615 runs in 11 innings at an average of 61.50, which included one century and five half-centuries.
5. JP Duminy
There is still a major question over Duminy’s stability in the ODI set-up, but maybe De Villiers’ departure frees up some space for the 34-year-old. If he brings his T20 form to the 50-over format, there could still be a place for him in the side. Duminy is the Proteas’ best ever T20I player, at least according to the stats. Duminy played 70 innings and scored 1,822 runs at an average of 37.95. De Villers, in five more innings, bowed out with 1,672 at an average of 26.12, finishing runner-up to Duminy on the all-time list.
Who are your picks to replace De Villiers? Write them in the comment section below.
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