Rudolph and Tahir are top domestic performers

2011-04-06 11:07

Titans’ batsman Jacques Rudolph and the Dolphins’ leg-spinner Imran Tahir finished the domestic season as leading runs-scorer and wicket-taker respectively in the 2010/11 SuperSport Series.

Rudolph had a spectacular return to the ranks of those eligible to play for the Proteas after giving up his Kolpak contract with Yorkshire. His 954 runs were made at an average of 59.62 and he was the only player to make four centuries.

Tahir’s figures were even more impressive. He was only available for half of the first-class programme but still took 42 wickets in five matches with six five-wicket hauls and two 10-wicket hauls.

The leg-spinner has already gone on to make a commanding debut for the Proteas’ ODI squad at the World Cup where he took 14 wickets in five matches and had the leading average for those who had played a significant number of games of 10.71.

He only became eligible for the Proteas at the start of the year which was too late for him to be considered for the Test series against India.

The next question to be answered is whether he fits into the selectors’ plans for five-day cricket as well.

Much will depend on the identity of the new Proteas’ coach who will have the major input on the tactics to be followed in this format of the game.

The Proteas already have a strong top order but it is always useful to have other players knocking on the door and putting pressure on the incumbents.

Rudolph certainly falls into that category bringing the experience of 35 Test appearances and more than 2 000 runs, including five centuries and a career best of 222 not out on debut, against Bangladesh.

At the age of 29 he is very much in his prime and he has the advantage of being able to bat anywhere in the top six.

Rudolph also has a proven ability as captain of the Titans in all three formats of the game and leads the South Africa A side in the first of two four-day Test matches against their Bangladesh counterparts at Senwes Park tomorrow.

Not all of South Africa’s next best talents are available for the A side as the likes of Albie Morkel, Rilee Rossouw, Jonathan Vandiar, Robbie Frylinck and David Miller will all be playing in the Indian Premier League, which starts on Friday.

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