Morkel is gone. Steyn has peaked, although still there.
No longer is the pair of Steyn and Morkel disrupting world’s best batting attacks.
Yet, the spirited resurgence of a new legion of South African bowlers has usurped those from other nations in terms of engulfing everyone’s attention to that part of their cricket which is every bit enthralling as it is entertaining.
The perfect blend of experience and youth is what the South African bowling line-up finally has.
You know who they are. Are you tempted to ascertain what this skilled quartet’s real strength really is?
After quite a while have seen a formidable force with the likes of Steyn, Tahir, Rabada and Ngidi to make the Proteas a genuine world-beating team at least bowling wise.
If the recently concluded first ODI against Australia wasn’t reason enough, the thrashing of Zimbabwe certainly added to the proof of the pudding.
Let’s try and look at each of the 4 horsemen to figure how successful can they be given the 2019 World Cup is around the corner.
Dale Steyn – 187 ODI wickets
With the freak shoulder injury, he picked up in Perth in Australia in 2016, most pundits thought his career was over. But he did make a comeback against India early this year only to be injured again. This time even I thought the great man’s time was up. The only person who knew Dale Steyn still had one more crack at international cricket left in him was Dale Steyn himself. He again comeback in the Sri Lanka series and now against Australia it seems like he is bowling as good as he has ever done. Swing at high speed – the perfect Mantra in England.
Kagiso Rabada – 86 ODI WICKETS
The golden boy of South African cricket. Ever since his debut against Bangladesh in 2015, this lad has just gone from strength to strength. The spearhead of the South African bowling attack, he lets his aggression show not through words but through those high 140s KPH deliveries that rattle the stumps of the best of the batters. This guy will certainly complement Steyn if they open the bowling together, possibly the best open pair of the WC.
Lugisani Ngidi – 24 ODI WICKETS
A tall, imposing paceman, Lungi Ngidi can reach speeds in the 140s KPH and is as comfortable opening the bowling as he is at the death, making him one of South Africa’s most promising prospects. He is the best new find that the Proteas have got in a long long time. With a mature head on his shoulders, this guy will be the perfect foil to Steyn and Rabada come to the WC.
A true awesome threesome when it comes to the pace bowling unit of the proteas.
Imran Tahir – 151 ODI WICKETS
A man whose celebrations are longer and feistier than the runups of most fast bowlers. Well, his leg-spin is also as effective. The googlies are certainly going to fox most batters come to the WC. If the other teams can somehow to manage to see off the formidable pace trio, the proteas ain’t going to relent because the wily leg-spinner will be waiting in the wings.
For me, this seems the best bowling attack the Proteas have had in a while.
Truth be told, with the supporting cast of Shamsi, Morris, Andile and the batters, the World Cup does seem an enticing prospect; at least theoretically speaking.
Practically its for them to get it back.
One nation. One Cup. Can they make it count this time?