Manchester – The Proteas are back in South Africa after a failed 2019 World Cup campaign that saw them finish in 7th position.
It was an incredibly disappointing performance from a side that desperately wanted to challenge for honours in England.
Things just never got going for them with losses to England, Bangladesh and India leaving them with a mountain to climb one week into the competition.
There were a couple of positives along the way, but in general not enough of South Africa’s big players stood up consistently enough.
Sport24’s Lloyd Burnard has followed the Proteas in England throughout the tournament. Here, he rates their performances.
Faf du Plessis – 6.5 (387 runs @ 64.50)
Du Plessis knows that South Africa’s performance in England tainted his legacy as skipper. Finished as SA’s leading run scorer at the tournament and capped it off with a superb century against Australia, but by then it was too late. Handled the AB de Villiers media storm firmly and accepted responsibility when things were not going well for the Proteas. Decision to bowl first against Bangladesh in game 2 sticks out and is one that Du Plessis himself regrets. Needed to convert starts into innings of substance earlier in the tournament.
Quinton de Kock – 5.5 (305 runs @ 38.12, 9 catches)
Solid old self as wicketkeeper, but it is his batting that was supposed to be the difference. There were 3 half-centuries in 9 innings, but could not kick on to post the big scores many thought would be South Africa’s ticket to success. On his day he is one of the most dangerous in the world, but he was unable to influence proceedings the way he would have wanted.
Hashim Amla – 4.5 (203 runs at 40.60)
Strike rate of 64.85 was most concerning. Amla ended with an 80* against Sri Lanka to salvage something from what had been a difficult tournament up until then. Struggles against raw pace were exposed throughout and he could not get the Proteas any momentum from the top of the order. Difficult to watch a legend of the game struggle this much. Surely the end of the road in the format.
Aiden Markram – 3.5 (140 runs @ 23.30)
Played in 8 of the matches and never once did anything of substance to justify his squad selection ahead Reeza Hendricks. In his 6 innings, there were 3 starts and 3 outright failures. Frustration of watching Markram look as good as anyone only to lose his wicket in the 30s or 40s continues. It is an element of his game that needs urgent remedy, and it contributed to a hugely disappointing tournament for the 24-year-old.
Rassie van der Dussen – 8 (311 runs at 62.20)
Never once looked like the pressures of playing in a World Cup were even remotely a factor. Notched up 3 half-centuries, but probably needed to kick on to something more meaningful in the first three matches of the tournament. Showed leadership potential throughout, remaining calm in some trying times. Will surely be introduced into the Test side soon.
JP Duminy – 3 (70 runs @ 17.5, 1 wicket @ 61)
Never got going and found himself completely out of favour for the middle period of the tournament. Came into it all a bit undercooked having just recovered from a shoulder injury and had absolutely no impact. Decision to retire from all international cricket was announced after the Australia match.
David Miller – 4.5 (136 runs @ 34)
All 4 of Miller’s innings at CWC 2019 saw him dismissed in the 30s. Surprisingly left out of the tournament opener against England, but could not impact matches the way he needed to when he was eventually backed. Ruled out with injury for final 2 matches, but the overall competition was another in which Miller promised much, but achieved very little.
Andile Phehlukwayo – 6.5 (133 runs @ 33.25, 11 wickets @ 30.54)
Was easily SA’s best bowler in the first week of the tournament, but had a tough day out against New Zealand in Birmingham where he was targeted by Williamson and co. Variation with the ball came in handy where others struggled. Will certainly be a key figure in entire build-up to 2023 and this experience will have helped in that regard.
Chris Morris – 6.5 (74 runs @ 24.66, 13 wickets @ 26.23)
Finished as SA’s leading wicket taker and was asked to take the new ball during the injury crisis. Was strong throughout, bowling briskly and asking questions. Should never have been the main pace threat given the squad makeup, though, but rose to the task. Limited opportunities with the bat.
Dwaine Pretorius – 7 (5 wickets @ 18, 3 runs @ 1.5)
Played just 3 matches. Was poor in the opener against England but then finished with superb displays against Sri Lanka and Australia. Was SA’s most economical bowler, going at just over 4. May have had a bigger role to play had Morris not been included as Anrich Nortje’s replacement. Showed in final 2 outings what he is capable of and probably warranted more game time.
Kagiso Rabada – 5 (11 wickets @ 36.09, 58 runs @ 29)
So disappointing. Rabada came in as SA’s major weapon with the ball and just took so long to get going. Looked to be hitting his straps by the end of the tournament, but by then it was too late. Perhaps unfair to expect so much from him given pre-tournament work load, but Rabada was the Proteas’ trump card, especially after Dale Steyn was ruled out. His first major hiccup on the international stage.
Lungi Ngidi – 4 (7 wickets @ 30.14)
Struggled initially, and then broke down with a hamstring injury in second game against Bangladesh. Overall fitness continues to be a major concern, and it reared its head when SA needed the young speedster firing most. The future is still bright, but Ngidi was no help to SA in England. Was out of favour by the end of the tournament, left out despite having recovered from the hamstring strain.
Imran Tahir – 7 (11 wickets @ 34.00)
Has now retired from ODIs and the Proteas will miss him dearly. Bowled at less than 5 per over throughout the tournament despite being asked to operate with the new ball at times. Easily SA’s greatest ever spinner in the format and showed exactly why during CWC 2019. May have had more wickets, but there was a clear plan from opposition batsmen to approach Tahir with caution.
Tabraiz Shamsi – 4 (0 wickets)
Can’t judge him too harshly as he only played 2 games, but he was ineffective in both of those. A surprise addition for the crunch game against India in Southampton while he also played the dead rubber against Australia. Tough tour for spinner.
Beuran Hendricks – n/a (0 wickets)
Flown in as Steyn’s replacement, Hendricks bowled just 4 wicketless overs in a routine win against Afghanistan in Cardiff.
Dale Steyn – n/a
Didn’t bowl a ball before he was sent home with a shoulder injury. Left SA going in a man short for their first 3 matches of the competition.
@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 …