Different fortunes for Proteas as IPL wraps up

PROTEAS’ bowler Gerald Coetzee playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. | AFP

PROTEAS’ bowler Gerald Coetzee playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. | AFP

Published May 26, 2024


TODAY the Kolkata Knight Riders will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final for the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Independent Newspapers’ Ongama Gcwabe looks at FIVE Proteas players who have done well at the nine-week tournament.

Heinrich Klaasen

Deemed the best white ball batter in the world, Klaasen showed his class once again in this year’s IPL as he led Sunrisers Hyderabad to the final, batting in the middle-order.

Throughout the tournament, the right-handed batter dominated spin, a feat that is not necessarily synonymous with overseas players in the IPL, making Klaasen an invaluable commodity.

Thus far, Klaasen has put together 463 runs, smashed 18 fours and 38 sixes and did so at an impressive strike-rate of 176. He leads the South Africans on the top-run-scorers’ list and is likely to finish at the top as the most successful Proteas batter at this year’s edition.

Tristan Stubbs

This season was really a break-out season for Stubbs as he established himself as a destructive force and a rare talent among the overseas players. The 24-year-old has all the shots in the book, and bases all his strokes on the strong foundation of an impeccable batting technique.

The right-handed batter struck 378 runs at an average of 54 in 14 matches, and hit 24 fours and 26 sixes as he dominated teams all over India. These numbers make Stubbs a special player considering that he is only getting started and could achieve a lot more in years to come as he grows in confidence.

Without a doubt, the 23-year-old had a successful tournament after two lean debut seasons.

Aiden Markram

Markram has been quiet all-season. Even during the SA20 earlier this year, his leadership really stood out but his performances on the field were not anything out of the ordinary. However, the top-order batter is receiving all the backing in IPL and as former captain of his team (Sunrisers Hyderabad), he deserves such treatment.

In his 10 matches this season, the right-handed batter has scored 270 runs at an average of 25 with a solitary half-century.

The Sunrisers will be hoping the former captain finds form in the final today.

Kagiso Rabada

Rabada has had a decent season with the Punjab Kings despite suffering a minor injury in the back-end of the round robin stage, forcing him to return to South Africa prematurely.

The fast bowler took 11 wickets at an average of 33 this season, taking his tally to a total of 117 wickets in his IPL career.

With a new IPL team, one can wonder whether the 29-year-old would return to his best, where he was taking 20-plus wickets per season on a regular basis.

Gerald Coetzee

The “Karate Kid” is rapidly making a name for himself. From last year’s ODI World Cup in India, where he helped South Africa to the semi-final, the 23-year-old has enjoyed growth in his career as he was roped in by the Mumbai Indians in the auction last year, joining one of the biggest franchises in the world.

Playing for the first time in the IPL, Coetzee took 13 wickets at an average of 26.23 and returned best figures of 4-34. Beyond the numbers, the youngster established himself as one of the fastest bowlers in the world as he regularly bowled 150 kph thunderbolts.

With that pace and aggression, the fast bowler has a long IPL career ahead of him.