With the Proteas back home, Zaahier Adams rates the winners and losers in the team. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters
With the Proteas back home, Zaahier Adams rates the winners and losers in the team. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

The Proteas 'awards' : Evaluating the Class of 2019

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Jul 9, 2019

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CAPE TOWN – Having lived every ball with the Proteas throughout their failed World Cup campaign here in the United Kingdom, Zaahier Adams picks his best and worst performers - and some others - over the past six weeks.

Mr Consistency: Rassie van der Dussen

Van der Dussen has entrenched himself in the national team in a very short space of time. He simply looks the part every time he walks to crease, and is equally able to absorb the most intense pressure before exploding later on in his innings.

Rassie will play a big role in South African cricket moving forward.

Ultimate survivor: Faf du Plessis

It has been an emotional last few weeks for Du Plessis, but he has managed to keep it all together through sheer bloody-mindedness. The outpouring of all this emotion was evident when he reached his 100 in the final game against Australia.

Faf du Plessis celebrates after reaching a century during the Cricket World Cup match between Australia and South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester, Photo: AP Photo / Rui Vieira

Surprise Package: Chris Morris

The all-rounder’s talent has never been under question, but rather the ability to showcase it on a regular basis. But having benefited from a late call-up due to Anrich Nortje suffering a freak injury, Morris arrived in the UK determined to prove his detractors wrong.

He certainly did with a string of performances that saw him finish as South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the competition.

Biggest disappointment: Kagiso Rabada

This World Cup was meant to be KG’s stage to shine. Instead he has been upstaged by his contemporaries such as Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer and Mitchell Starc. It was not as if he wasn’t trying, but it just seemed the harder he pushed the more it would go wrong.

The rhythm that is Rabada’s hallmark was simply not there. It was only in the last game against Australia where Rabada’s flame was lit. Unfortunately by then it was far too late for him and the Proteas.

Flattered to deceive: Quinton de Kock

South Africa’s wicket-keeper/batsman is not a rookie anymore. He is an essential part of the line-up. It is by time he realises it. Cameos are no longer enough. It has to be match-changing innings and too often promising starts are not carried through.

Unlucky: Dwaine Pretorius

Discarded after just one game, Pretorius returned at the back-end of the tournament and produced two sparkling displays with the ball. To his credit his never moaned once and just got on with the job.

Will be missed: Imran Tahir and JP Duminy

Two of South Africa’s most experienced players hung up the Proteas shirts after this campaign. Their absence in the ODI team will sorely be missed not only for their contributions on the field, but crucially off it too.

Imran Tahir leaves the pitch following South Africa's #CWC19 match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire


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