Rudolph’s impressive batting noticed

2011-07-13 00:00

JACQUES Rudolph not only impressed with his leadership skills, but also went knocking on the door for promotion to the Proteas during South Africa A side’s triangular series against a Zimbabwe XI and Australia A, which ended last week.

Whether he did enough to kick the door down remains to be seen but his three scores of 90 plus made him the leading runs scorer of any of the three sides and head coach Vincent Barnes praised him for his “hunger and calmness under pressure”.

“I personally had a good tour,” said Rudolph.

“I think my new leadership role has helped me to up my game, but more importantly I am at a stage of my career where I know what I need to do when it comes to my cricket,” he added.

The third 90 came in the final against Australia, and had he not been run out and gone on to a well-deserved century, it would almost have certainly won the match for his side.

As it turned out they went down by an agonising two runs, having lost a previous round robin match against the Australians by one wicket.

The South Africans won both their matches against what was very close to a full strength Zimbabwe side but could easily have won two of the three matches against Australia rather than losing all three.

The Australian side was also a strong one with three of the players — David Warner, Aaron Finch and John Hastings — being first choices for the Australian T20 team to take on Sri Lanka. Their captain, Tim Paine, is a regular member of their Test squad.

Rudolph apart (309 runs at 61,80 and a strike rate of 80,25), the best batting performances came from Rilee Rossouw (157 runs at 39,25 and a strike rate of 88,20), and Vaughn van Jaarsveld with 132 runs at 44 and a strike rate of 89,18.

The bowlers lacked consistency although Vernon Philander, Craig Alexander and Rusty Theron all had their moments. Between them they took 23 of the 35 wickets that fell to the South African attack.

The Malaysian five-team tournament that was to be South Africa A’s next assignment, has unfortunately been cancelled.

The focus will now turn to the next tier when the South African emerging squad defend their title in the four-team tournament in Australia against their hosts, India and New Zealand.

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