Proteas Test series’ report cards

File image: Aiden Markram.File image: Aiden Markram.

The good, the bad and the ugly after the Proteas sunk to a 3-0 Test series whitewash at the hands of India in Ranchi.

Quinton de Kock

  • One of only four Proteas to play the full three-Test series, De Kock averaged a mere 26. His ton in Visakhapatnam showed fight, but substance lacked elsewhere. The decision to open the batting with him in Ranchi didn’t reap reward. 7/10

Dean Elgar

  • The steely left-hander started superbly on the back of 160 in Visakhapatnam, but gradually petered out. His initial struggles against spin were coupled with eventual difficulties against fast bowler Umesh Yadav, culminating in a concussion. 7/10

Faf du Plessis

  • Former skipper Graeme Smith deemed Du Plessis ‘listless’ earlier in the series and a ‘quirky’ decision to send vice-captain Temba Bavuma to the toss for the final Test ‘pathetic’. Du Plessis was bowled not playing at the ball in Visakhapatnam and mindlessly reviewed a plumb lbw decision in Ranchi, as Betway’s markets bobbed and weaved to the skipper’s troubles. 5/10

Theunis de Bruyn

  • A long string of low scores caught up with De Bruyn, who was eventually dropped for the third Test, but promptly returned as a concussion substitute for Elgar, who will have more time to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup after being sidelined by six or seven days. His awkward shot selection has been questioned the most and a berth in the Test squad for the England series isn’t likely. 3/10

Kagiso Rabada

  • The fast bowler’s seven wickets in three matches was the most by a visiting bowler this series. That number is still low for a player of such hefty status. His on-field quarrel with De Kock in Pune fuelled the public damning of the Proteas, too. 6/10

Temba Bavuma

  • Bavuma’s inclusion in the squad for the preceding T20I series surprised many. His elevation to the Test vice-captaincy did the same. His position above Du Plessis in the batting order also raised proverbial eyebrows. Tough times, indeed, for the man earmarked to succeed Du Plessis as Test skipper. 5/10

Vernon Philander

  • The all-rounder can look back on a decent series with the bat, but his primary role with the ball was lacking. South Africa needed clutches of wickets, not necessarily cheap economy rates, from their senior statesman. He only delivered two, before being dropped for the final Test. 4/10

Dane Piedt

  • A superb stretch of form in the 2018-19 4-Day Franchise Series and a Cricket South Africa award for it could have been a catalyst for the regeneration of the spinner’s Test career. Instead, he was ineffective throughout the series, which was punctuated by being dropped in Pune and recalled in Ranchi. 3/10

Aiden Markram

  • The opening batsman pledged plenty on the back of centuries for South Africa A and the Proteas in fixtures that preceded the Tests. He didn’t convert this promise into success in the longest format, though, and hotheaded frustration eventually ensured an injured wrist, public apology and early flight home. 3/10

Anrich Nortje

  • A fast bowler who effectively made a name for himself on hard and fast pitches in the Mzansi Super League was likely going to struggle in substantially lower and slower conditions in India. The format was longer, the opposition tougher and Nortje’s wake-up call louder. 4/10

Keshav Maharaj

  • The left-arm spinner bowled far more overs than any other South African this series, in one less match than some. The signs were early that he wasn’t going to take many wickets despite extra overs, but his injury was a blessing in disguise, as it afforded the promising Linde a debut and increasing popularity among punters on Betway and others. 4/10

Senuran Muthusamy

  • The spinning all-rounder didn’t bat high enough in the order for some and was not deployed more with the ball for others. Either way, he’s a promising prospect – and this series should galvanise his ambition to play more Test cricket. 7/10

George Linde

  • The left-arm spinner’s arrival on the international scene has been a while coming. It was fast-tracked, to an extent, due to Maharaj’s injury. He capitalised on India’s pursuit of quick runs prior to the declaration in Ranchi and batted solidly down the order twice. 7/10

Zubayr Hamza

  • The talented right-handed batsman reportedly nursed a niggle through the first two Tests. Otherwise, he might have played all three. His chance came in Ranchi, where a maiden Test half-century all but insisted he be in the first-choice XI from here on in. 7/10

Lungi Ngidi

  • The fast bowler, surprisingly, was overlooked for Nortje in Pune. He returned to the XI in Ranchi, where he wasn’t given the new ball in the second innings. His injury-prone frame obviously requires workload management, but he could have been pushed a bit more in Ranchi. 5/10

Heinrich Klaasen

  • The Titans star’s Test debut came in the wake of Markram’s exit, with De Kock relieved of the wicketkeeping duties and elevated to the top of the order. He fell for six and five, and missed a straighforward stumping when centurion Ajinkya Rahane was in full flow. 4/10