South African cricketers have been termed ‘chokers’ due to their inability to win the World Cup. The famous collapse in the semifinals against Steve Waugh’s Australians in 1999, the debacle at home in 2003 and another semifinal defeat in 2007 added credence to that theory. However, the Rainbow Nation will be pleased that their personnel play key roles for their respective IPL franchises.
Chennai Super Kings can call upon Chris Morris, Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis. A new inclusion, Morris has been a revelation. The bustling all-rounder has been hostile and his 10 wickets have come handy for CSK. His last-over heroics against Kolkata were extraordinary. Du Plessis, who played a crucial role in 2012’s final run, hasn’t played due to a back injury while Morkel is yet to fire after recovering from an ankle injury.
Dale Steyn continues to show why he is the world’As premier fast bowler. His 10 wickets have come at a vital time for Sunrisers Hyderabad, and his economy rate of 5.91 is outstanding considering that he bowls in the powerplay and at the death. JP Duminy is out with an injury while Quinton de Kock, the young ’keeper-batsman, has managed only single-digit scores.
Jacques Kallis, an architect of Kolkata Knight Riders’ triumph in 2012, plays the all-rounder role with aplomb. His display against Hyderabad is a case in point – after a 27-ball 41, his spell of 3-13 with an economy rate of 3.25 proved telling. Ryan McLaren has played only one match for KKR with limited success.
AB de Villiers has come up with splendid knocks for Royal Challengers Bangalore. When he fires on all cylinders, like in his brilliant 64 against CSK, the bowlers often look silly as he comes up with innovative shots including reverse sweeps off pace bowlers! Additionally, AB has been brilliant on the field, and is proving invaluable for the team.
David Miller is the match-winner Kings XI Punjab were looking for. His unbeaten 80 with five sixes against Pune Warriors when chasing 186 showed his big-hitting prowess. Delhi Daredevils have four South Africans – Morne Morkel, Gulam Bodi, Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha. Bodi hasn’t played but the abject failure of the others has meant that Delhi have been languishing at the bottom.
Pune haven’t used their solitary South African in Wayne Parnell while Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals don’t possess any. The Proteas have contributed vitally to their teams’ causes, and should continue to do so.