South Africa’s performances in International Cricket have had their ups and downs in the past two years, with unbelievable highs of beating Australia at home for the first time in a Test series, to undeniable lows of losing their first Test series at home to a subcontinent team. This was then topped off with their dismal performance in the Cricket World Cup.
People wondered just how South African Cricket would move on from AB de Villiers, once he made his shock retirement announcement. I admit I was one of them.
Enter Rassie van der Dussen.
In his short international career, where he has played 18 ODIs and 7 T20Is, he has fairly certainly, cemented his place in the Proteas limited over side.
His stats are impressive, in his 18 ODIs, Rassie has an average of 74, which includes 7 half-centuries. He has come close on a couple of occasions of reaching his first ODI century, but be rest assured, that will be coming soon. He is too good a player not to reach the 3-figure mark.
His performances in the recently completed Cricket World Cup were also impressive, as he was South Africa’s leading run-scorer through much of the campaign. He scored 311 runs in six matches, which included three half-centuries, his highest score being 95 off 97 deliveries, against Australia. He was only bettered by captain, Faf du Plessis’s 387 runs.
When you think that this was Rassie’s first overseas tour and his first World Cup, that makes it even more impressive.
His figures in T20I cricket are of no slouch either, averaging 36, with a strike-rate of 133. His performances in South Africa’s inaugural Mzansi Super Leauge at the end of 2018 were brilliant, scoring 469 runs in the tournament in 11 games, and notched up 4 half-centuries.
His ability to absorb pressure and stay calm is a true asset and one that has come in very handy for the Proteas. His skill in adapting to whatever match situation or batting position is required of him, is invaluable.
Rassie is 30 years old and some say he is too old to be considered for Protea national Test selection. I say that is not an issue. He is a batsman, and batsmen can go easily into their mid-30s.
With the potential retirements of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis from the Test team in the next 12 months, this opens the door to get a cool and responsible head into the ranks. Rassie fits this mold well and should, in my opinion, be considered for Test selection in the next season or two.
Times are tough for South African Cricket at present, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We are blessed to have Rassie donning the Protea shirt. Long may that continue.