Apart from the commonality in the word south for South Africa and southpaw, there is certainly a set of class and elegance that gets a certain left-handed breed of batters constantly springing up from the land of the Mzansi.
Be it the likes of the past greats in Gary Kirsten and Graeme Smith to the more modern day Maharajas in Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock and David Miller, South African most definitely has a knack of harnessing these talents to shine on the global stage amid glory galore.
With this being said, a name that most certainly fits the mould with the aforementioned icons but hasn’t got its due share of credit is that of Rilee Rossouw.
A friendly man with an equally friendly name albeit only off the field!
In the recently concluded T20I World Cup, this elegant left hander hailing from the judicial capital of Protea Land, Bloemfontein scored a whopping career best 109 in just 56 balls against Bangladesh in a match South Africa convincingly won.
This after recently earning a recall to the green and gold post his Kolpak stint with the English county Hampshire that started way back in January 2017.
Truth be told, the Bangladesh outing was the only game in which the Proteas demonstrated a semblance of the powerhouse they are known to be in an otherwise morose showing in this mother of T20 tournaments.
Perhaps for the die-hard South African faithful it’s become an all too familiar feeling of despair at every global event.
Coming back to Rilee, his county stint was undoubtedly a blessing in disguise as it added the much needed maturity to his batting which during his debut for South Africa eternities back in 2014 was at best dynamic but lacking purpose.
Before going kolpak, Rossouw unquestionably had talent galore with three ODI hundreds but what was missing was the ingredient of consistency to give purpose.
With kolpak ceasing to exist after Brexit took effect, the South African selectors gave another opportunity to Rilee to make an international comeback having selected him for the T20 leg of the outbound English tour earlier this year.
Rilee Rossouw, with his familiarity of English conditions took this chance to make a mark again on the international stage and boy did he capitalize. With scores of 96 and 31, he was instrumental in the Protea’ complete subjugation of the Poms as they sealed the series 2-1.
Overall, since making his comeback in 2022 to the international fold in T20I cricket, Rilee Rossouw has surmounted a massive 372 runs at a rarher impressive average of 46 and an ever soaring strike rate of 176.
Those obsessed singularly with only the Caribbean firepower as if their strike rates were the end of it all, note- 176.
If these figures are not the perfect ingredient of purpose and consistency, one should surely wonder what is.
Dear Mr. Victor Mpistang, respected chairman of the South African selection committee, time to grant this warrior a comeback even in ODI cricket?
Even the almighty would agree with the dwindling fortunes of South Africa in ODI cricket, Rilee can without doubt be the catalyst of change.
After all the fan needs to see the Proteas play the ODI World Cup in 2023, isn’t it?