Rating The South Africans at IPL 2020

Saffas at the IPL
By BET Contributor

The Indian Premier League (IPL) now over and we can now have a sober look at how South Africans performed in 2020. Over the years, South African players have been a huge part of the IPL and many have done well for their respective franchises. This year was no different.

We go through each South Africa who played and rate them out of 10. Ahead of the white-ball series against England, it’s important to see who is in form and who is not.

AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

14 matches
454 runs
Highest Score – 73*
Average – 45.40
Strike Rate – 158.74
50’s – 5

Nothing in life is perfect but AB was as close to that as you can possibly be, especially considering he’s been in the IPL for so long. However, he is still without the coveted IPL Trophy. This season, everyone will remember his 73* vs Kolkata as an innings of pure genius. AB was in sublime form throughout the tournament, often giving the impression he was playing a very different game to his team-mates. Only twice before has he scored more fifties in an IPL season. His form undoubtedly was a sight for sore eyes for those SA fans who feel he should still be in the national side. Will he make a comeback in 2021 for the T20 WC? Well, on form alone he certainly is knocking down that door…

Rating 9/10

Dale Steyn (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

3 Matches
11 Overs
1 Wicket
Average – 76
BBI – 1/33
Economy – 11.40

I think Dale would have preferred to be on the waves than on a cricket field this season. An elite sportsman never likes being spanked all over the ground, least of all Dale Steyn. That, however, is exactly what happened to him for two out of the three matches he played. In the first match, KL Rahul scored a century and took the RCB attack apart and targeting Dale Steyn. Everyone has a bad day at the office but at 37 in elite sport, it is increasingly magnified. Then in his last game of the season, when the game was still winnable, he inexplicably bowled three wides in four balls and when he tried to correct himself he overdid it and was smacked for six over fine leg. Will we see Dale back in the IPL in 2021? Only time will tell.

Rating 3/10

Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

9 Matches
11 Wickets
Overs 31.4
Average – 19.09
BBI – 4/26
Economy – 6.63
34 runs
Highest Score – 25*
Average – 8.50
Strike Rate – 161.90

Chris Morris was rather erratic this season and rather than nail down his role as the number one all-rounder in the side, he was no more than a bit-part player. Although he was economical with the ball, he was very disappointing with the bat.

Rating 6/10

David Miller (Rajasthan Royals)

1 match
0 Runs

A season that David Miller will like to forget I would imagine as his only game came in a fixture he was run out in without facing a delivery. A strange feeling I am sure but he is not the first that has suffered in this way. It seems a little odd he didn’t get another game as his talent in the T20 format is well known. Surely he hopes 2021 will be better; it can’t get any worse.

Rating 0/10

Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Capitals)

17 Matches
30 Wickets
62.4 Overs
Average – 18.26
BBI – 4/24
Economy – 8.37

Rabada and his SA partner (Nortje) were a revelation as a combination and Rabada, in particular, was bowling with purpose and without injury. Which South Africans will be grateful for. He troubled most batsmen with his pace and variety when the situation or pitch demanded it. This was particularly apparent in the 2nd Qualifier game v SRH when he finished with 4/29. He removed the dangerous Warner for 2 and without him, the game could very well have been lost and the chance to make it to the final. Despite the team’s overall lacklustre performance in the final, Rabada can be proud, especially as he ended up with the tournament’s purple cap for most wickets.

Rating 8.5/10

Anrich Nortje (Delhi Capitals)

16 matches
22 Wickets
61 Overs
Average – 23.27
BBI – 3/33
Economy – 8.39

Nortje was very impressive in his first season of the IPL after having to withdraw in 2019 due to a shoulder injury. He relied heavily on his pace and it worked, especially in his opening games as he twice went for a fraction over five an over in his first five matches. He often removed top-order batsmen, which put pressure on the middle/lower order and the Delhi Capitals in the driving seat. We have often seen express pace-men come and go in this tournament but I think Nortje has found his niche. This is largely because he not only possesses a good slower ball but bowls the right length at full pace. He did, however, drop off in performances in the Qualifiers and the final. This is maybe because the pitches became much slower and were more conducive to spinners or fast cutters.

Rating 7/10

Quinton de Kock (Mumbai Indians)

16 matches
503 runs
Highest Score – 78*
Average – 35.92
Strike Rate – 145.76
50’s – 4

It was another solid season in the IPL for Quinton as he helped steer his team to yet another tournament win. It wasn’t his best season with the bat in terms of numbers but probably one of his most important. I say this because although there were some good performances with the bat, none readily comes to mind or at least not as they usually do. What he did show and has shown for four out of the last five seasons is remarkable consistency. Out of the last five seasons, he has averaged over 35 in four of them. This year was also a good one for him behind the stumps, as he took more catches and more stumpings than in any other. It helped to have Bumrah and Boult for the former of course but you still have to take the catches.

Rating 8.5/10

Faf du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings)

13 matches
449 runs
Highest Score – 87*
Average – 40.81
Strike Rate – 140.75
50’s – 4

It is clear that Faf Du Plessis was under pressure to perform this season after giving up the national side’s Test captaincy and by extension no longer assured of his place. He appeared unaffected and he regained his mojo with some exceptional innings, most notably his 72 off 37 v Rajasthan in a losing cause. He also had to contend with some rather odd captaincy by MS Dhoni, which didn’t help his team. This was his eighth season of the IPL and also by some distance, his best one yet. He averaged over 40 for the first time and if his captaincy skills had been utilised, Chennai may have had a better season. Overall Faf can be very happy with his performances on a personal level, which is good news for him and the Proteas, as they move into a very busy summer.

Rating 8.5/10

Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)

3 Matches
1 Wicket
11.4 Overs
Average – 133
BBI – 1/33
Economy – 6.90

This was a most peculiar season for Imran, especially when you consider he would be in most people’s World XI over the last few years. The fact he only played three matches was rather baffling when his team was crying out for a match-winner. In the matches he did play, his economy never went above 7.5, which is evidence that at 41 he still has what it takes. You would think SA will hope to see him in the T20 WC next year.

Rating 7/10

Lungi Ngidi (Chennai Super Kings)

4 Matches
9 Wickets
16 Overs
Average – 18.55
BBI – 3/38
Economy – 10.43

Lungi Ngidi had a very disappointing season this year and although his wicket return is decent he was far too expensive when you consider his ability. He struggled for rhythm throughout the tournament and will look to come back stronger and more consistent next season.

Rating 4/10

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