Another World Cup failure: This is how Proteas rated in India

17 November 2023 - 13:58
By Stuart Hess in Kolkata
Quinton de Kock was one of the best performers for South Africa during the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.
Image: Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images/Getty Images Quinton de Kock was one of the best performers for South Africa during the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

Rating the Proteas after a World Cup in which they exceeded expectations but suffered another agonising exit.


Without his runs in the two years before the tournament, South Africa would not have earned an automatic qualifying spot. But judging him on the World Cup, Bavuma was poor and bowler Marco Jansen scored more runs than him.  

An average of 18.12 tells the tale and his confidence at the crease in the semifinal was virtually absent. Led well as captain, but a few tactical calls — not bringing the spinners on early enough — will leave questions. 


Having never scored a World Cup century before the tournament, he racked up four in the first seven matches. Behind the stumps he was brilliant as well, with 20 dismissals putting him ahead of the next best, KL Rahul on 16.  

His judgment about using DRS was commendable. Overall, given it was his last tournament in the ODI format, the effort and passion he put in behind the scenes boosted the morale of teammates.  

He will be missed. 


The Proteas’ most consistent batter in the past five years continued on that path in this tournament. He does the dirty work at the top of the order, absorbing pressure and allowing the rest to flourish.  

Made two centuries and the performance against New Zealand was a career highlight.  


Numerically, a good tournament for him. He made more than 400 runs, with a century and three 50s, took four catches and claimed a wicket. But he will leave India with the sense that there was more he could have given, especially in the big matches against India and in the semifinal.  

Remains a crucial component of the ODI team and depending on what Bavuma decides about his future, might be captain when South Africa hosts the World Cup in 2027. 


Started well enough and had a magnificent performance against England in oppressive conditions in Mumbai.  

Tapered off until the semifinal when he shared a crucial partnership with Miller and made 47 but got out at an inopportune time.  

Given the hype around him before the competition, perhaps, he didn’t deliver as he’d have wanted to, but he will be a crucial player in the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and US next year. 


Extra marks for a World Cup semifinal hundred. Miller has largely been undervalued by South African fans who too easily fall into the trap of judging him by his previous performance.  

He makes runs when it matters, as he showed on Thursday.  

Averaged 44.50 in this tournament and his athleticism in the field was exemplary. Should make it to the T20 World Cup where his combination with Klaasen will be a potent weapon for the Proteas. 


Delivered two disappointing performances at Eden Gardens and will be cut up about that. But overall, this was his limited overs coming out party.  

Took 17 wickets at 26.47 and scored 157 runs at 31.40 — by any stretch those are good stats for an all-rounder — and given this was his first tournament, he can feel proud.  

One of those the 2027 challenge will be built around. 


A brilliant unbeaten seven against Pakistan won what turned into a tense affair in Chennai.  

With the ball he was deadly accurate taking his 15 wickets at an average of 24.66, while his economy rate was 4.15. After all it took to get to this tournament after the ruptured Achilles, it was a remarkable six weeks from Maharaj, who is gradually working his way up the ladder to be considered one of the great Proteas players. 


Bowled better than his statistics suggest — 13 wickets at an average of 28 and an economy rate of 4.99.  

Had to be flexible, as he was asked to bowl with the new ball, having started the tournament as a first change bowler and providing a wicket-taking threat through the middle period.  

Was missing a big impact performance as seen from Mohammed Shami and Josh Hazlewood in the semifinals.  


Unlucky not to play in the semifinal and had a solid tournament overall, with his performance in the power play against Australia the highlight. Played an important part in the Chennai chase, scoring four off 14 balls.  

But also missed making an impact performance, something he will reflect on in the coming weeks. 


Think about the great fast bowlers who’ve played for South African at the World Cup, well Gerald Coetzee took more wickets in a tournament than any of them.  

He finished with 20 in the competition and that eight over spell in the semifinal, at the end of which he was getting treatment for cramps, was an extraordinary demonstration of skill and courage.  

Anrich Nortjé wasn’t missed, that’s how good Coetzee was. Another that Cricket South Africa needs to carefully manage in the next four years.  


Nine wickets at 23.55, a man of the match performance against Pakistan — that included an unbeaten four with the bat — and an uplifting spell in the semifinal that kept SA in the match, makes it a tournament Shamsi can look back on with content.  

But he was also too sloppy in the extras department — even for a bowler as aggressive as he is. He conceded 13 wides and three no balls off his bowling.  


Is and will continue to be a topic of much debate. When Bavuma suffered the gastro illness in Mumbai, Hendricks made a superb 85 against England. Then against Bangladesh he scored 12.  

Was that enough to merit replacing Bavuma in the latter stages? Perhaps not, because of the captaincy. With Bavuma not part of the T20 plans, there might be a bigger role for Hendricks to play in the Caribbean and US next year. 


Got his chance when Lungi Ngidi was given a break against Bangladesh and took it well, displaying his skills and claiming a couple of wickets. Will always be in the back up category, but his excitement at getting an opportunity to play in a World Cup was infectious.  

He’ll have a wonderful story to tell his new baby in a few years time. 


Another who played just one match, but he made an impact against Afghanistan, taking a wicket and scoring an beaten 39 off 37 balls, hitting the winning runs after patiently keeping their potent set of spinners at bay.