South Africans fail to fire in IPL

2014-06-01 15:00

As the curtain comes down on this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) today, only two South Africans have done the country proud amid lacklustre performances from most of the local players in the teams.

Even though the IPL will always carry the tag of a glorified domestic tournament, it augurs well for the Proteas as some of them found form in their favoured batting positions.

This is the view of Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbiyi, who singled out batsmen JP Duminy and David Miller as those who had caught his eye.

Between them, they conjured up 855 runs, with Miller playing a massive role in getting his Kings XI Punjab side into the play-offs and tomorrow’s final.

The two are the only locals featuring on the top 10 highest strike-rate statistics of this year’s tournament, which magnifies the failure of the rest.

Miller has the most runs compared with the other South African batsmen with 445 runs.

Duminy, who plies his trade for the Delhi Daredevils?–?which struggled in the tournament, was often the difference between moderate and heavy losses for his team which finished in the basement of the log.

Praising Duminy and Miller, Mashimbiyi said: “Both men punched above their weight and South Africa was blessed to have them compete in the IPL 2014 season.

“Miller is gaining momentum each year, but Duminy’s performance was not surprising because he has proved his mettle at an international level.”

Mashimbiyi disagreed with those saying Jacques Kallis should retire from the IPL, considering how sparsely the former Proteas batsman was used.

According to him, Kallis still had a lot to offer the IPL despite his age.

But Kallis (38) did not rise to the occasion even though his Kolkata Knight Riders fought their way into today’s final, mostly on the back of Robin Uthappa’s superb form.

AB de Villiers was inconsistent but was let down by the top order of a misfiring Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Mashimbiyi described De Villiers as a “freak” whose game matured early in his career.

He was not pleased by the Proteas’ One Day International team captain’s display in the IPL this year, but he was optimistic, saying: “Players like AB have a way of returning to form and young guys like Miller have a lot to learn from him.”

On the bowling front, he was not impressed by fast bowler Dale Steyn, who played all 14 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad, but he said Steyn deserved credit considering he was plagued by injuries last year and early this year.

“It takes time to find your feet in competitive events like the IPL, but Steyn is a tried-and-tested top performer who will always do the job when he is given the chance,” said Mashimbiyi.

Steyn, ranked the top test bowler in the world, only made it to the 50th position on the list of bowlers with the best strike rates in this year’s tournament.

2014 IPL: How South Africa fared

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