As an exciting 2020 Indian Premier League season resumes, once again, South African players are making their presence felt, with several former and current internationals participating at the tournament this year.
Now that play has resumed in the competition, let’s take a look at which South African cricketers are making the biggest impact, aiming for both team and individual honours during the 2020 IPL season.
Boasting an excellent record of 282 runs, having faced 188 balls from five matches and five innings, 36-year-old Faf du Plessis has scored more runs than any other overseas player year, while representing Chennai Super Kings. Second only to KL Rahul of Kings XI Punjab with 302 runs in the overall batting chart, du Plessis is tipped at 11/2 in the cricket betting to be Top Batsman of the Indian Premier League this year.
IPL 2020, CSK vs SRH: Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis etch their name in elite IPL list with 181-run standhttps://t.co/hcwRNO5kxs— Hindustan Times (@HindustanTimes) October 5, 2020
Three other South Africans are also amongst the best overseas batters. Legendary AB de Villiers has 155 runs from five matches and five innings with Royal Challengers Bangalore, although the 36-year-old is just outside the top ten batsmen overall. Meanwhile, 27-year-old Quinton de Kock has managed 115 runs from five matches and five innings, keeping himself amongst the top ten overseas IPL batsmen.
The most successful South African bowler ever in the Indian Premier League was Morné Morkel, who took 25 wickets with the Delhi Daredevils during the 2012 season. Since then, no other South African has managed to top the bowling charts. However, that could change in 2020 with Kagiso Rabada enjoying an excellent campaign with the Delhi Capitals, who are amongst the leading teams in the IPL this year.
Kagiso Rabada sets new IPL record by taking 2 or more wickets in 10 consecutive matches pic.twitter.com/lRXb2XQlmF— Gireeshkumar (@Gireesh03120267) September 30, 2020
25-year-old Rabada has taken 12 wickets from five matches and 20 overs, making him by far the best overseas bowler in the IPL right now, only second in the IPL bowling charts to Yuzvendra Chahal, who boasts slightly better average and economy statistics. Just outside the overall top ten bowlers is Anrich Nortje, who has taken five wickets in five matches, playing for the Delhi Capitals alongside his fellow countryman Rabada.
IPL Player of the Series
Despite the long list of great South African players who have joined Indian Premier League clubs, since the inaugural 2008 season, none have claimed the prestigious Player of the Series title. Winner of the award in 2019 was Andre Russell, the West Indian all-rounder who achieved an excellent personal record of 510 runs and 11 wickets last year.
Nevertheless, it’s looking increasingly likely that Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada will be strong contenders this year, thanks to their excellent respective batting and bowling performances. Indeed, there’s every chance that either man could become the first South Africans to land the Player of the Series award, given they are amongst the leading contenders overall.
Hopefully, strong continued form with bat and ball will earn one of them the recognition they deserve.