Albie Morkel: The hard-hitting left-hander was hugely influential in the shortest format. Picture: Matthew Jordaan
Albie Morkel: The hard-hitting left-hander was hugely influential in the shortest format. Picture: Matthew Jordaan

The Proteas' T20 Best: Three all-rounders who can clear the fence

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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ARGUABLY the most important element of any T20 side is the strength of its all-rounders. Players that have the ability to bat, bowl and field have become instant millionaires in the shortest format.

Usually they are the men that hit a long ball too, and the Proteas have been blessed with an abundance of big-hitters over the years.

ZAAHIER ADAMS chooses his three to close out the game.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Albie Morkel

The “other” Morkel - brother of Morne - is a T20 legend. The hard-hitting left-hander was hugely influential in the shortest format, particularly at his IPL franchise where he formed an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings championship-winning teams over the years.

It was a real pity that Morkel’s talents were not always appreciated at international level, where often he was simply seeking a Proteas coach who would show him unconditional love.

Morkel’s best performances in a green shirt came right at the beginning of his T20 career at the 2007 World Cup and also at The Bullring against Australia in 2009. He was adept at bowling with either the new ball, in the middle of the innings or at the death.

Justin Kemp

The Chennai Super Kings certainly had a fascination with big-hitting South African all-rounders, with Kemp also spending time at the IPL franchise.

Unfortunately, Kemp was equally under-appreciated by the Proteas as he only played eight T20s for the Proteas. His impact during that period was immense, though, with Kemp averaging 50.75 with the bat at a strike-rate of 126.87.

His two most note-worthy innings was in the opening game of the inaugural T20 World Cup when he blasted 46 not out off just 22 balls. However, his best performance came later in the tournament when he put the Black Caps bowlers to the sword with a swashbuckling 89 not out off 56 balls.

Surprisingly overlooked by the national selectors after the tournament, Kemp sought financial security by signing a Kolpak deal with Kent.

Robin Peterson

The left-arm spinning all-rounder was tailor-made for T20 cricket. His Twitter handle is not @robbie13flair without reason.

The current Warriors coach always seemed a step ahead - a crucial element in the shortest format - in his thinking and approach to T20s. He always looked to attack as the best form of defence, whether it was with bat or ball.

Unlike Morkel and Kemp who favoured the long batting handle, Peterson was more innovative, utilising the reverse sweep and switch hit to great effect.

With the ball, "Robbie P” wasn’t afraid to bowl in the powerplay overs either, when fielding restrictions only allowed for two players outside the circle.

His T20 intuition and expertise have been much sought since his retirement with not only the Warriors calling on his expertise, but also the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.


@ZaahierAdams

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