It was a Test match to forget for the Proteas as they lost the Boxing Day Test by an innings and 182 runs against Australia. Tim Dale Lace gives his Proteas player ratings for the 2nd Test against the Aussies.
Dean Elgar 1/10
26 & 0
It was a terrible Test for the Proteas captain who when well set in the first innings ran himself out on 26, a mere five minutes from lunch on Day 1 which precipitated the team’s collapse and, as in the first Test, was caught down the leg side in the second innings. He can no longer be considered the rock of this side in current form.
His captaincy also left a lot to be desired, unable to get the best out of his bowlers and his overuse of Maharaj when he was ineffective was very odd. I wonder if his captaincy is having an effect on his batting because the stats suggest so.
Sarel Erwee 1/10
18 & 21
Once again he was found out flashing at a delivery from Boland in the first innings, after yet another decent start. He did receive an absolute corker of a delivery from Starc in the second innings to be lbw but it now concludes two Tests for him with his place in the side anything but secure.
Theunis De Bruyn 3/10
12 & 28
In the first innings, he looked solid enough on his return to the Test side after a three-year absence but let himself down playing a pull shot to Green while clearly caught in two minds and had no foot movement. He yet again looked the real deal in the second innings before finding a way to get himself out caught behind the wicket. It was another delivery in the fourth stump channel and again he had little foot movement.
Temba Bavuma 5/10
1 & 65
He can’t be blamed for the way he got out in the first innings, it was a fantastic delivery and he did play very well for only the team’s third fifty in the game but his culpability in the run-outs of Khaya Zondo and Keshav Maharaj during the second innings does tarnish his otherwise clear copy book in terms of his batting. His demise was due to poor shot selection, sweeping at a ball given plenty of air from Lyon which dropped well outside off stump, a real sucker punch but I suspect the runouts were on his mind as much as the match situation.
Khaya Zondo 1/10
5 & 1
His dismissal in the first innings showed his shortcomings at this level, an expansive drive to the off side with little to no foot movement, something which has become a feature of most SA batters this series. He was not at much fault for his run out in the second innings, as Temba Bavuma sold him down the river looking for a single that was never there. He though hasn’t shown quite enough at this level and will be looking over his shoulder, despite his obduracy at the crease.
Kyle Verreynne 7/10
52 & 33
It has been refreshing to see Kyle show his genuine talent in this Test match. He played superbly for his 52 in the first innings, taking the attack to the Australian bowlers in a fantastic partnership with Marco Jansen. A similar but quicker innings of 33 in the second innings also showed a good range of shots and included five boundaries. He can feel proud of his performance throughout the Test.
Marco Jansen 5/10
59 & 5, 1/89
He will often fail with the bat, as he showed in the second innings when he was rooted on the crease to Lyon but when he does get in he will score runs. His performance of 59 was superb. Rising above a very challenging situation he rotated the strike superbly with Verreynne and found the boundary with regularity in his innings.
His bowling, while a little erratic in the main, especially at the beginning of the Australian innings, did produce a couple of good spells and showed why he is so highly rated.
Keshav Maharaj 2/10
2 & 13, 0/135
So far it has been a tour to forget for Keshav. He gave his wicket away recklessly in the first innings but was not to blame for the run out in the second innings.
While overseas spinners often struggle in Australia, Maharaj’s performance in this Test was awful. Unlike Lyon, he found absolutely no bounce and turn and despite Dean Elgar giving him 41.5 overs, he never looked like getting a wicket. He has been SA’s premier spin bowler in this format for some time but he really struggled against a top six that milked him to great effect, rather than taking him out of the attack.
Kagiso Rabada 4.5/10
4 & 3, 2/144
KG finishes as the leading wicket-taker in Tests for 2022 but he looked a little short of his best throughout this Test. His dismissal of Usman Khawaja when Australia was on 21 was his only success until he dismissed Pat Cummins with Australia on 400. In between, he didn’t have his usual consistency and went for over five an over. I can’t help but think KG is going to have to let one format go soon if SA wants to see his best more often.
Anrich Nortje 6.5/10
1* & 8*, 3/92
His overall figures don’t do him justice. In stifling heat he bowled superbly and troubled the entire Australian batting lineup. While it could be argued he did bowl a little too short at times, he still caused the batters considerable discomfort. If David Warner, who scored 200, says that a spell he faced against him in this Test was the fastest of his career, then he did something right.
Lungi Ngidi 3/10
2 & 19, 1/98
Lungi was not at his best in this Test match; he just seemed to be going through the motions a little and didn’t really trouble any of the batters. His only wicket of the Test was Nathan Lyon who was looking for quick runs. This is a shame because he had been bowling well up until this Test. One hopes it was just a bad day.