South Africa Cricket
It took 12 years for South Africa cricket team to become the third county, after England and Australia, to play the Test cricket back in late 19th Century. They played their first Test at home in Port Elizabeth in 1889 against England – almost exactly 12 years from the first Test match in 1877 in Australia. South Africa lost the Test by 8 wickets but a new era of Test cricket began that produced some of the finest cricketers like Aubrey Faulkner, Graeme Pollock to name a few.
Since then, South Africa have played 439 Tests – 6th overall among the Test-playing nations – and have won 165 Tests losing 150 and drawing 124 Tests. Their win-loss ratio of 1.1 is third-best after Australia and England. South Africa are among only 4 teams in Test history to have won more Tests than they have lost.
South Africa’s one day record is even better. It’s a surprise that a team with such a consistent performance in the ODIs has never won an ODI World Cup. The 22-year ban since the year 1970 due to the apartheid policies meant they could not participate in the first 4 ODI World Cups. On return to International cricket, they played amazingly well in the 1992 ODI World Cup until the unfortunate exit in a rain-curtailed match against England. Overall, South Africa have played 625 ODIs winning 385 of them and losing just 216 with 18 matches ending in no-result. They have the highest winning percentage of 61% among all the teams who have played more than 11 ODIs. South Africa have been consistent in ODIs ever since they returned to cricket back in 1992 but somehow, they chocked at crucial stages of the World event and thus could not win a World Cup so far.
South Africa have been playing T20 cricket since 2005. Since then, they played 124 matches winning 70 of those – 56% winning percentage. They have lost 52 T20 international matches so far and tied 1 with 1 match resulting in no-result. The inaugural T20I World Cup happened in South Africa in 2007. However, they are yet to win a T20I World Cup.
South Africa Cricket Team
The home season for South Africa cricket team generally commences from late September or early October and goes on to next year till February or March. South Africa also have a tradition of hosting boxing day Test on 26th December. Unlike Australia, their venue for the boxing day Test is not fixed. The last two boxing day Tests happened at Centurion and a couple before that happened in Port Elizabeth. This year, they will be playing Sri Lanka for the boxing day Test at the Centurion.
Apart from the world events at home, for the rest of the year, South Africa travels to England, Australia and India primarily. When on tours they generally play 2-3 Tests series. At times they play 4-match Test series against England and India. South Africa last played 5 match Test series against England in 2003. On away tours, South Africa generally play 3-5 ODIs and 2-4 T20Is in the limited-overs series. The 4-match T20I series against India in 2016 is the longest bilateral series South Africa have played in the recent past. Most of their T20I appearances have been in the T20I World Cups.
Currently, South Africa are hosting Sri Lanka for a couple of Test matches first of which will start on boxing day at Centurion. The second Test will be played at Johannesburg from 3rd to 7th January 2021. After this, they will be travelling to Pakistan for 2 Test and 3 T20I series. Then they will host Australia for a 3-match Test series as a part of World Test Championship. In late March 2021, South Africa will host England for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.
South Africa play nothing until the World Test Championship final scheduled to be played in June-2021. In July, South will tour Ireland for 3 ODIs and 3 T20I series followed by hosting Netherlands for a 3 match ODI series. After this, they will travel to India to participate in the T20I World Cup. They will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is against India before the World T20I event.
Post World T20, South Africa will host India for the home season to play 3 Tests and 3 T20Is and will travel to Australia immediately after that to play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. For the rest of the 2022-2023 season, they will play 12 Tests, 15 ODIs and 12 T20Is against New Zealand, England, Ireland, West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Some of these fixtures might change as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic.
South Africa Cricket Live
Currently, South Africa cricket live matches involve Sri Lanka who are touring South Africa for a very short tour. These two teams are scheduled to play two Tests in this series which is under the clouds of Covid-19 pandemic right now. The tour match between Cricket South Africa Invitation XI and the Sri Lankans has already been postponed. If all goes well, SuperSport Park in Centurion will host the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka on the Boxing day. The second Test match will be played at the iconic Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg starting 3rd January 2021.
After this short home series, South Africa will travel to Pakistan for 2 Test and 3 T20I series. The Tests will be played at Karachi and Rawalpindi starting 26th January and 4th February, respectively. The T20I series will begin on 11th February with the first T20I to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The remaining two T20Is will be played at the same venue. The tour will end with the third and last T20I on 14th February 2021.
South Africa Cricket Players
History of South African greats
South Africa have a produced many great players over the history of 130 plus years in the various formats of the game. The most famous cricketer whose career was cut short by the apartheid sanctions was Graeme Pollock. Until very recently his average of 61 in Test cricket was second only the indomitable Sir Donald Bradman. Another lesser-known, but hailed as one of the finest all-rounders in the world in the early 20th century was Aubrey Faulkner. He is also regarded as the first leg-spin bowler to bowl googly.
The world has seen many great South African cricket players since their readmission to international cricket in 1992. The batsmen such as Gary Kirsten, Kepler Wessels, and lethal bowers such as Alan Donald. And then there was Jonty Rhodes who redefined fielding in Cricket. All the acrobatic skills on display on the field in the current era have its root in the South African fielding standards of 1992 specifically Jonty Rhodes.
In the late 20th century new players emerged such as Hansie Cronje, Jacques Kallis, and one of their most accurate bowlers ever – Shaun Pollock. There was never a weak South Africa side and the only side that was fighting it out against the greatest Australian team of the last 20th century was South Africa.
The 21st-century additions to the long list of great South African cricket players are Dale Steyn – arguably the greatest Test fast bowler, AB de Villiers – the Mr. 360 Degree and Hashim Alma the run machine lead by Graeme Smith – one of the youngest South African captains ever. All these players made South Africa one of the greatest teams in the 21st century. Kagiso Rabada, the pacer, is dominating in all formats of the game. However, after the retirement of the greats and consistently losing players to English county through Kolpak deal, South Africa are currently in a rebuilding phase right now and are not at their best in any format for the game.
Current 2020 Test team
South Africa last played a Test match in January 2020. They will bid adieu to this strange year with a Test against Sri Lanka at home. Faf du Plessis is the captain of South Africa Test team and he bats and provides solidity to the middle order at number 4. Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram open the batting for South Africa followed by Rassie van der Dussen at a crucial position at number 3. Then Du Plessis follows. Quinton de Dock- the wicketkeeper – and Temba Bavuma provide solidity at number 5 and 6. Philander at 7 is also a handy bat and effective bowler, especially in the home conditions. Kagiso Rabada and Dwyane Pretorius form the core of pace bowling and Keshav Maharaj is the preferred spinner in the Test team.
Current 2020 ODI Team
Current South African ODI team is ranked 5th in the ICC ODI rankings. Quinton de Kock is their captain. He bats at the top of the order and keeps the wickets as well. He, along with Janneman Malan, open the innings for SA. Then the new players such as JJ Smuts and Kyle Verreynne bats at number 3 and 4 followed by a middle-order strengthen by the presence of Faf du Plessis, Henrich Klassen and David Miller. Allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo and Keshav Maharaj give solidity to the lower middle order before the bowlers like Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla make an appearance. There’s a lot of inexperience in the current South African ODI setup and it shows in their recent performance and results as well.
Current 2020 T20I team
Of the 10 T20I matches played in the year 2020, South Africa T20I team has won only 2 of them. South Africa’s T20I team is captained by Quinton de Kock. He along with Temba Bavuma at the top of the order opens the innings for South Africa in T20Is. Reeza Hendricks and Faf du Plessis provide solidity at the top after the openers. Rassie van der Dussen and van Biljon and allrounder George Linde provide depth to South Africa’s T20 batting. Tabraiz Shamsi is their wicket-taking spinner in T20 while others in the bowling squad are Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla and most importantly Kagiso Rabada when he is fit to play.