Supersport Park, Centurion, Proteas vs Pakistan, 3rd Test Day . 240213. South Africa win the series 3-0. Picture: Etienne Rothbart.

The Proteas wrapped up a fabulous season by beating Pakistan 3-0 in the Sunfoil Test Series. However, we rate the squad over the entire summer:

Graeme Smith 7/10

A season of landmarks for Test cricket’s most experienced captain as his side dominated the game’s premier format. His own form with the bat is proably not what he’d want it to be, but his century in Adelaide was crucial in keeping South Africa in touch with Australia. His leadership was outstanding. After the ‘Great Escape’ in Adelaide, he pulled the troops together and then typically led from the front with Amla as they pounded the Australian attack on the second evening of the Perth Test. “This is the best team I have played in as a South African cricketer,” he said Sunday after the defeat of Pakistan in Centurion.


A strange sort of season in which he got ‘starts’ but didn’t translate those into big innings'. South Africa, as Gary Kirsten and Smith pointed out, is probably the toughest place in the world to be an opening batsman, and Petersen certainly suffered against the Pakistanis. Still made a key contribution in the Cape Town Test against New Zealand, when making the only century. His catching in the slips was excellent.


(Like his good pal Amla, an 11 could be justified too)

Some said Steyn had lost a bit of his edge as Philander kept grabbing wickets last year, and he was certainly flat during the first two Tests in Australia. That all changed in Australia’s first innings in Perth when he picked up 4/40 – one of those included the ball of the season to remove Michael Clarke. As Philander is famous for saying: “Stats don’t lie,” – well Steyn has 45 wickets from eight Tests at an average of 17.28. Nuff said.


Did a fine job filling in for injured pals after being given a surprise call-up for the opening Test in Australia. In fact that Brisbane Test proved to be a key learning curve for the ‘Big Show’ and he showed just what a quick learner he was in the next Test in Adelaide. That match is more famous for Du Plessis’ century, but Kleinveldt’s three-wicket burst in Australia’s second innings ensured they didn’t run away with the match.


Though still a part of the squad he has slipped down the pecking order after a bad error in the Adelaide Test against Nathan Lyon. With Duminy back next season, it’s difficult to see where Rudolph will fit in with the Test team in the future.


His figures in Adelaide say it all: 37-1-260-0. Accepted that he was poor in that match and will be working hard on his consistency in the coming months. If as the South Africans expect, Pakistan will create raging turners for the series in the UAE later this year, then Tahir could be a key component of an attack that may feature as many as three spinners.


Confirmed that he now has Andrew Hudson’s number on his phone and won’t soon be tossing aside the device when the convener of selectors calls next time. Abbott was the top wicket-taker in the Sunfoil Series, and brought that form and confidence into the final Test of the season.

JP DUMINY (No rating)

By all accounts his rehabilitation is going well and he should be back for the series in the UAE later this year.


(11 might be a more fair rating)

‘The Mighty #’ went past 50 in seven of his 13 Test innings this season, and turned three of those into centuries. Reduced his teammates to awed silence at the WACA when he and Smith put on a partnership of 178 in 25 overs. All wristy elegance, he now also has a ‘meanness’ about him that’s not noticeable given his gentle demeanour, but ask any bowler if they want to bowl at him when he’s in a mood, and they’ll go running to their mommies.


The great man battled through injuries in Australia and then missed the final Test in Centurion but still played a significant role in South Africa’s sensational summer. The outstanding part of Kallis’ play this season has been his bowling, which is as good as it’s been at any point in his career. On that bouncy Wanderers track he was as hard to face as any of the frontline quicks – just ask Azhar Ali. Will probably be avoiding ‘optional training’ for the remainder of his Test career after straining his calf at SuperSport Park.


Took responsibility for his position, cleared up his mind about what he wanted to do and understood that as wicket-keeper/batsman he makes this South African side much stronger. His bare statistics tell you all you need to know about his season. His best innings, was one not normally associated with De Villiers, a selfless defensive effort in which he made 33 off 220 balls in over four hours to help save the Adelaide Test.


His ‘blockathon’ in Adelaide has already gone down in South African sporting folklore. Seven hours and 46 minutes of leaves, forward defence, backfoot defence, the occasional drive all the while 11 Australians sledging you, and by the time he was done cramping and exhausted he’d given his team the chance of a second successive series win Australia.


Take out his century against a mediocre New Zealand side, and one could consider Elgar very lucky to have retained his place for as long as he did this season. Needs a spell back in domestic cricket to sort out his play especially outside the off-stump, where he seems very unsure. Likely to be the one to make way when Duminy returns.


Very much unheralded as is always the case with the spinner in a South African side. When things don’t happen quickly enough everyone blames the spinner (after blaming the captain). But he’s been superb. Turned around the Cape Town Test against the Pakistanis with a vibrant 84 and finished the season with 17 wickets which included being the final bowler to dismiss Ricky Ponting in a Test innings.


Are we finally starting to see the all-rounder in Philander come out? Some important contributions with the bat were allied to his superb bowling and he is almost at the point where he should be considered a bona fide all-rounder. Fitness remains a concern though – he missed two Tests – and if he is going to be spending so much time batting and bowling that’s an area that will needed improvement.


Skirts under the radar in this attack but is nevertheless a crucial component. Morkel was probably the best bowler for South Africa across the entire series in Australia, but the wickets column didn’t do justice to his endeavours. Consistency remains a concern, but the sense is he’ll have one big series somewhere along the line where he’ll grab a heap of wickets.

South Africa: 2012/13 Test Averages

Batting & Fielding

M I N R HS Avg 100 50 Ct St

HM Amla 8 13 1 839 196 69.91 3 4 2 0

F du Plessis 7 10 2 558 137 69.75 2 2 4 0

AB de Villiers 8 13 2 746 169 67.81 3 3 34 1

JH Kallis 7 12 0 487 147 40.58 1 3 7 0

GC Smith 8 13 0 439 122 33.76 1 3 23 0

D Elgar 6 8 2 192 103* 32.00 1 0 6 0

AN Petersen 8 13 0 402 106 30.92 1 2 10 0

VD Philander 6 8 3 153 74 30.60 0 1 2 0

RJ Peterson 6 8 1 157 84 22.42 0 1 3 0

JA Rudolph 2 4 0 74 31 18.50 0 0 0 0

KJ Abbott 1 1 0 13 13 13.00 0 0 0 0

RK Kleinveldt 4 5 2 27 17* 9.00 0 0 2 0

DW Steyn 8 9 2 58 15 8.28 0 0 3 0

M Morkel 7 7 2 39 17 7.80 0 0 0 0

Imran Tahir 1 1 1 10 10* - 0 0 0 0

JP Duminy 1 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 0


O M R W Avg BB 5I 10m

KJ Abbott 28.4 11 68 9 7.55 7-29 1 0

DW Steyn 290.5 75 778 45 17.28 6-8 3 1

VD Philander 198 52 519 26 19.96 5-7 2 0

JH Kallis 83 22 204 8 25.50 2-11 0 0

M Morkel 219.2 59 692 25 27.68 5-146 1 0

RJ Peterson 150.3 37 509 17 29.94 3-44 0 0

RK Kleinveldt 111.1 21 422 10 42.20 3-65 0 0

HM Amla 2 0 9 0 - - 0 0

D Elgar 3 0 18 0 - - 0 0

AN Petersen 7 0 26 0 - - 0 0

GC Smith 10 0 46 0 - - 0 0

F du Plessis 10 0 60 0 - - 0 0

Imran Tahir 37 1 260 0 - - 0 0

Supplied by Andrew Samson, Official Statistician of Cricket South Africa – The Star