Proteas

5 Proteas batsmen who never cashed in

JP Duminy (Gallo Images)
JP Duminy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - JP Duminy has been sent home from England mid-series, prompting speculation that this could be the end of the road for the 33-year-old on the Test stage. 

It's been a tough old time for the left-hander, who has struggled to score runs when it matters most. 

His form at the ICC Champions Trophy - albeit a different format - was poor and he transferred those woes onto the Test stage. 

After scores of 15 and 2 in the first Test at Lord's, the selectors finally ran out patience and Duminy was dropped for the second Test at Trent Bridge as captain Faf du Plessis returned. 

Now, with a number of quality batsmen knocking on the door, it looks like Duminy's Test career could be over. 

He is not the only talented Proteas batsman since readmission who has failed to establish himself on the Test stage. 

Here, we look at FIVE South African batters who had all the talent int he world but would leave their careers feeling they could have achieved a lot more. 

JP Duminy

Tests - 46

100s - 6

50s - 8

Average - 32.85

When Duminy is playing well, there are few better sights in cricket. His talent has never been the question and when he is in full flight he looks as good anybody. But, for some reason, Duminy has not delivered consistently enough on the Test stage. His average might be acceptable for a guy who bats down the order and bowls (think Moeen Ali), but Duminy was batting at No 4 and barely turning the arm over when he was finally dropped. It may not be the end for Duminy just yet, but it is hard to see him justifying a place in the top four anymore. Theunis de Bruyn, Aiden Markram, Khaya Zondo ... there are too many players who should be given a crack before Duminy is allowed another chance. Hopefully he can rediscover some form for the ODI side.

 

Neil McKenzie

Tests - 58

100s - 5

50s - 16

Average - 37.39

This may be a bit harsh, given that McKenzie actually finished with a credible average, but the quality of the player deserved more. McKenzie effectively had two Test careers; one from 2000-2004 and one from 2008-2009. That second stint came as an opening batsman, but it was in the middle order where he should have knuckled down a place. McKenzie struggled in those early days to convert 50s into 100s and it ultimately cost him four years of Test cricket. The current Proteas batting coach can be proud of what was a largely successful career, but it could have been so much better.

 

Boeta Dippenaar

Tests - 38

100s - 3

50s - 7

Average - 30.14

There is no doubt that Dippenaar was a better player than his Test average suggests. He averaged 42.23 in ODI cricket and 40.14 in first-class cricket, but on the Test stage he couldn't make himself indispensable. He spent a lot of his time battling McKenzie for a place in the side, but when he was given a chance he couldn't do quite enough to command a long stay. Another very respectable career, but given the professional that Dippenaar is, he would have expected more on the Test stage.

 

Jacques Rudolph

Tests - 48

100s - 6

50s - 11

Average - 35.43

Again, some very good numbers, but the thing with Rudolph is how highly-rated he came. From the very beginning, this was considered a player who would become one of the best in the world. Rudolph also effectively had two Test careers (2003-2006 and 2011-12). He is still playing first-class cricket in England at the age of 36, and while he was given a second stint at Test cricket, the ultimate end product was not what had been expected.

Stiaan van Zyl

Tests - 12

100s - 1

50s - 0

Average - 26.33

Currently on a Kolpak deal, there is still the possibility that Van Zyl will play Test cricket again at some stage. But, if he doesn't, his numbers will be an absolute travesty. He made a century on debut against the West Indies back in 2014, but ever since then he has struggled. With a healthy first-class average of 43.5, a lot was expected from the classy left-hander. In Van Zyl's defence, he was backed out of position at the top of the order and was never comfortable - the England series of 2015/16 ultimately sealing his fate.

Photos: (Gallo/Getty)

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