Proteas bowlers firing blanks 50 days before WC

KAGISO Rabada is among the Proteas’ bowlers struggling in the IPL ahead of the T20 World Cup. | Reuters

KAGISO Rabada is among the Proteas’ bowlers struggling in the IPL ahead of the T20 World Cup. | Reuters

Published Apr 13, 2024


FOUR of the worst bowling figures in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) season are 0-66, 2-65, 3-59 and 1-57, each one conceded by a South African bowler, including 17-year-old Kwena Maphaka and right-arm quicks Anrich Nortje and Gerald Coetzee.

Nortje and Coetzee are among the bowlers most likely to form part of the Proteas attack during the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States in 50 days time.

These poor figures reveal how off-form the Proteas bowlers have been thus far at this year’s IPL.

After five games this season, Kagiso Rabada, who is the leader of the attack, hasn’t had the greatest of IPL campaigns either in the colours of Punjab Kings.

Rabada has returned 1-36 (v Delhi Capitals), 2-23 (v Royal Challengers Bangalore), 1-38 (v Lucknow Super Giants), 2-44 (v Gujarat Titans) and 1-32 (v Sunrisers Hyderabad) so far and has generally not looked great.

The 28-year-old was once among the fastest bowlers in the world, with one of the meanest yorkers in world cricket. However, in the last few years, Rabada has been a shadow of his old self, particularly in the shortest format of the game.

Even the two seasons that he has spent with MI Cape Town in the SA20 have been some of his worst tournaments in T20 cricket as the right-arm quick just did not look as threatening as we all know him to be.

This is a concern for South Africa given that the World Cup is just around the corner.

The only Proteas quick who has looked in top form in the IPL thus far is Nandre Burger. The left-arm quick has been touching the 150km/h mark regularly in India, a feat that has made him successful.

Burger has taken six wickets in four IPL matches at a decent economy rate and is now by far the most exciting Proteas quick heading into the World Cup.

Rabada’s Punjab Kings and Burger’s Rajasthan Royals go head-to-head in the only IPL fixture today, before Maphaka and Coetzee’s Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings tomorrow at Wankhede Stadium.

Here at home, Ottniel Baartman has continued his good run of form in the Cricket SA T20 Challenge, just as he had done in the SA20 for the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.