SA re­port card

Only AB gets high marks fol­low­ing a tour in which Ros­souw and McLaren dis­ap­pointed

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS Marchant de Lange

PLAYER rat­ings for the South African cricket team in Aus­trala­sia (out of 10).

Two cen­turies on the tour, were high­lights, but bat­tled against John­son in Perth – although he’s in a cat­e­gory of many in that re­gard. Steady at the top, but there’s a feel­ing he could have done more.

Mas­sive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on his first trip Down Un­der. Made an un­beaten 80 at the end of the se­ries in New Zealand and then a cen­tury in the dead rub­ber in Syd­ney. Keep­ing has im­proved but as he showed in Mel­bourne, he’s still sus­cep­ti­ble to mak­ing ma­jor er­rors.

After his ex­ploits in Zim­babwe it’s no sur­prise he’s had a dip here. Only went past 50 once and was the fo­cus of much of Aus­tralia’s ire through­out. Will want a big score in the West Indies se­ries just to help with con­fi­dence. Field­ing was in­tense and made some sub­lime stops.

It’s hard to think of a more dom­i­nant bats­man in the game at the mo­ment. Looks in com­plete com­mand at the crease and his bat­tle with John­son in Game 2 was one of the tour’s high­lights. Has now thrown bowl­ing into his reper­toire to give him­self an ex­tra op­tion in the field. Typ­i­cally ag­gres­sive cap­taincy, though fail­ing to win the se­ries against Aus­tralia will hurt.

Had a cou­ple of chances in this se­ries to play a defin­ing in­nings and missed out. The first match in Perth was im­por­tant; he had time to build an in­nings, got to 65 but then when the sit­u­a­tion de­manded he fin­ish the job, he lacked the com­po­sure. Quick in the field, but has to hit the stumps more when the sit­u­a­tions arise.

A re­place­ment for Du­miny who may just have played him­self into the World Cup squad. Ini­tially that looked to be be­cause of his ac­cu­rate bowl­ing which pro­vided De Vil­liers with a mea­sure of con­trol and Shane Wat­son with no end of frus­tra­tion. Im­por­tant half­cen­tury in the fi­nal match showed he is a ca­pa­ble ‘finisher.’

Not­with­stand­ing the half-cen­tury in Syd­ney, it seems he’s blown his chance at a World Cup spot. There’s plenty of tal­ent there, but he needs to turn it into re­sults and un­for­tu­nately hasn’t done so across nine ODIs. SA need a so­lu­tion to the back-up bats­man slot now and un­for­tu­nately Ros­souw’s re­turns haven’t war­ranted giv­ing him that po­si­tion.

Hor­ri­ble tour for him. Clearly didn’t get over the bro­ken arm he picked up cour­tesy of John­son in Zim­babwe and his bowl­ing in par­tic­u­lar was in­ef­fec­tual. With the bat, he has strug­gled with the short ball. Needs to re­gain con­fi­dence with some stints at do­mes­tic level. Took two won­der­ful catches in the Aus­tralia se­ries.

It’s make or break with him. When he’s hot, he’ll burn through the op­po­si­tion, but when he’s off, ev­ery­thing seems to go wrong. Is pick­ing him in a World Cup squad a risk? Yes. How­ever it is one worth tak­ing given that he’s able to vi­ciously turn a match.

Er­ratic as al­ways. Started slowly in both se­ries’ and then in the sec­ond match in Perth he pro­duced his most dom­i­nant ODI dis­play. That was on a pitch that suited him, but he came up short when the sur­faces weren’t to his lik­ing. Hope­fully he has taken the lessons from this trip and will be able to ap­ply them next year. One of those no-ball cul­prits.

Ex­cept for that won­der­ful bat­tle with Clarke in the first match – which he won – was strangely sub­dued on this trip. Per­haps bowl­ing within him­self be­cause of the long sum­mer ahead? Lost his com­po­sure in the fourth ODI when the team was cry­ing out for lead­er­ship from their se­nior bowler.

Not his most suc­cess­ful trip, but re­mains an im­por­tant part of the at­tack. An ag­gres­sive leg-spin­ner, who op­po­nents feel they can at­tack and that works in his favour. May be South Africa’s most im­por­tant bowler at next year’s World Cup. Works hard on his field­ing and needs to con­tinue to do so; it’s an area of his game in which he lacks con­fi­dence

A bit like Steyn, he was sub­dued on tour. Per­haps like his fel­low new ball bowler he was bowl­ing within him­self to look after his body ahead of a long sea­son. Has got to re­view where his front foot lands – he is far too close and there­fore sus­cep­ti­ble to be called for no-balls as hap­pened three times against Aus­tralia

Loses points for those three no- balls in Syd­ney. Started very well in Mel­bourne but like the rest lost his cool amidst the ag­gres­sion from Smith and Wade. Wasn’t as good in Syd­ney, but did enough in those two matches and the T20s to jus­tify se­lec­tion for the World Cup.

His late in­ter­ven­tion in the fi­nal game will give the se­lec­tors an in­ter­est­ing headache. Aaron Phangiso will come back after in­jury, but how can Peter­son’s tough­ness, ex­pe­ri­ence, un­ortho­dox bat­ting and ex­cel­lent field­ing ig­nored?

not rated as he didn’t play any games.

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