Proteas

Van der Dussen waits in suspense over landmark

Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo Images)
Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo Images)

Somehow, it almost seems Rassie van der Dussen has been making extremely rosy progress in one-day international cricket a little beneath the radar.

It might have something to do with the fact that he is yet to post an ODI hundred, albeit that he sports two innings of 90-plus ... 93 on memorable debut against Pakistan at St George's Park in January last year, and 95 against Australia at the tail-end of the 2019 World Cup at Old Trafford.

But over the course of 16 innings in the format so far, the 31-year-old right-hander from the Lions has also very seldom glaringly failed (there are only two single-figure scores) meaning that he is in with an outside chance of setting a new South African record.

Van der Dussen, with 707 runs at an average of 70.70, needs a further 293 runs from four further turns at the crease (an average of just over 73 runs per knock) to reach 1 000 runs from 20 innings.

Should he achieve the feat - and yes, it's a pretty tall order but only just beyond his current success rate - he would eclipse Proteas captain Quinton de Kock as fastest South African in innings terms to the four-figure tally.

De Kock got there in 21 knocks, so if Van der Dussen were to equal his skipper he would need a slightly more feasible 58 to 59 runs per innings to draw level.

The swashbuckling, left-handed De Kock reached his 1 000 runs back as a relative novice in August 2014 - his second calendar year of international activity - when he notched 38 runs against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo.

As things stand, De Kock lies joint-third of all time for fastest to 1 000: such luminary figures as Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott also got to the landmark in 21 innings.

Top of the pile stands Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman, who required only 18 innings and coincidentally also got there against the Zimbabweans in Bulawayo - in July 2018.

Second is compatriot Imam-ul-Haq (19 innings, the feat achieved against South Africa at SuperSport Park in January 2019).

Currently the second-best South African to De Kock to the figure is Hashim Amla, who used 24 innings to bring up his 1,000.

When the Proteas will next be in action in ODIs, to give Van der Dussen his opportunity at getting high up on the international list for stealth to that tally of runs, is currently unclear due to the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

But they are due to play a rescheduled three-match series in India at an unknown date - after their recent visit was abandoned - and are also rostered to play Sri Lanka (supposedly three ODIs and three Twenty 20 internationals) away in the middle of 2020.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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