Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday officially announced their list of nationally contracted men’s and women’s players for next season.
In general, the respective groups showcase continuity and stability, an indication perhaps that – with the exception of a single few individuals – the Proteas are getting their selection mix right.
Here are the winners and losers from the men’s squad following the federation’s reveal.
Rassie van der Dussen
The man who took to international cricket like a duck to water in 2018/19 continued his meteoric rise by establishing himself as a Test player of some note too.
He scored three half-centuries in a poor series against the English, notably missing out on a maiden hundred at the Wanderers by two runs after a cracking effort.
Importantly, Van der Dussen was recognised for his leadership abilities too, providing much-needed wisdom for a team that is in transition.
His Test debut against England at the Wanderers brought a deserved if somewhat meaningless five-wicket haul in the visitors’ second innings, but the effort certainly showcased some spirit and newfound maturity.
Even though there’s still some nagging inconsistency at the highest level, Hendricks has the gift of being a natural wicket-taker, even if the runs flow off his bowling.
3/59 in the pink ODI against England and an expensive yet vital 2/33 in the first T20 pointed to that innate ability.
The fact that he’s a left-armer helps too.
The 25-year-old opener is a winner exactly because the powers that be could’ve easily ditched him for a Heinrich Klaasen or Pieter Malan.
Yes, there were two centuries in the domestic One-day Cup for the Titans, though the suspicion persists that he still lacks the tools to turn attractive 20s and 30s into big scores and, overall, he has been decent since his return from injury instead of red-hot.
However, his continued presence in the system is comforting.
(Other contender: Reeza Hendricks – Flatters to deceive; Anrich Nortje – Well-deserved for his new status as a pace ace)
His last five international innings brought 330 runs at an average of 110 as the Titans skipper backed up his words – that he’s playing with more freedom and has vacuum-cleaned the mental cobwebs – with deeds.
And those runs weren’t scored against inferior opposition – it featured bowlers of the calibre of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes.
It doesn’t mean he’s out of favour, but he deserved the extra vote of confidence.
Theunis de Bruyn
Eye surgery and an unexpected national contract at the end for 2019/20 seemed to set the stage for the elegant right-hander to finally fulfill his promise.
But the disaster that was the Test tour to India took its toll on De Bruyn, who like many others, struggled badly.
He wasn’t seen at international level again and at the turn of the year couldn’t even command a starting place at the Titans for various reasons.
The contracted lists:
Men: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
Women: Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Tumi Sekhukhune, Chloe Tryon, Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt.