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HomeCricBlogSouth Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings



Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings

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Well, the second Test ended well inside three days.

That was to be expected.


If you even had any slight thought of Sri Lanka beating South Africa 2-0 in their own den, then you need to start a betting tips website or something of that sort. No one – not even the most passionate of Sri Lankan fans – could have expected this incredible series result, especially given how meekly they surrendered in Australia. Sri Lanka fans, this is a moment to savour. It truly is one of your finest ever achievements.

On the flip side, it is a real effort to keep calm when discussing how South Africa fared in the series. Their batting was a farce, reeking of complacency, of which Faf du Plessis denied. Problem was that Quinton de Kock, South Africa’s best batsman this series, admitted they were complacement, and so too Dale Benkenstein, who is surely on borrowed time as their batting coach. The difference in opinion exposed South Africa’s muddled thinking, highlighted in their batting averages since the start of 2018, which makes for sorry reading. No one can blame du Plessis in the slightest if he wants AB de Villiers to come back.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings – Poor numbers.

In this article, I will rate each player in the series out of ten. How will the South Africans fare?

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South Africa

Dean Elgar: 2 matches, 43 runs, average: 10.75

Vishwa Fernando has found a new buddy. Elgar, a true fighter and arguably a man who deserves to be in the last two Test XIs of the year, had an awful series. Out three times to Fernando, and worryingly looked all at sea against the swinging ball. 2

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings: Fernando loves Elgar…

Aiden Markram: 2 matches, 117 runs, average: 29.25

Not sure about you, but when I think of Aiden Markram, I think of a beautiful looking car stuck in a garage. So much potential, but still not quite delivering as consistently as the Proteas would like. Of course, he is still young, and absolutely a player South Africa should persist with. 5

Hashim Amla: 2 matches, 51 runs, average: 12.75

Is the end near for Hashim Amla? South Africa must make a decision on Hash, who has been struggling for some time now. He has been brilliant for the Proteas over the years, which makes the decision tougher, but South Africa need to be clear as to where they head after this debacle. Amla’s feet were well and truly stuck in concrete in Port Elizabeth. 2

Faf du Plessis: 2 matches, 200 runs, average: 66.66

A standout for South Africa. Hard to criticise the man for his captaincy when his troops simply weren’t in the game. He would have been particularly seething over his team’s 128 all-out debacle in Port Elizabeth where he ended up not out on 50. However, to say his side weren’t complacent, when they clearly were, is a serious misjudgement.

In a CricBlog exclusive, I have managed to get the transcript of du Plessis’ call to AB de Villiers:

“We miss you. We couldn’t get past 222.

We’ll accept you with glee. Surely that’s better than playing for RCB?” 7.5

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings – Faf du Plessis on the phone to AB.

Temba Bavuma: 2 matches, 56 runs, average 14.00

A much loved player in South Africa, but his career statistics create more concern as each match passes by. An average of 33.00 after 36 Tests, with one century, is not enough for a player of his ability. Bavuma is another player South Africa need to make a call on. Is persisting with Theunis de Bruyn worth a shot? 2

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Quinton de Kock: 2 matches, 222 runs, average: 55.50

It is hard to think that this series could have been even worse for South Africa. However, that would have indeed been the case had this man not delivered. He rescued the side on three separate occasions, left to pick up the mess created by the top order. The one time he wasn’t able to, guess what happened? Yes, 128 all-out to hand the second Test to Sri Lanka on the most beautiful silver platter you’d ever see. 8

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings: Yes Quinton, you do.

Wiaan Mulder: 1 match, 14 runs, average: 7. 1 wicket, average: 12.00

Does Shane Watson have a South African clone? And no, it is not about looks. The way Wiaan Mulder plonks his front pad and plays around it is not a pretty sight for teammates and Proteas fans. Certainly a pretty sight for Sri Lanka, who exploited it with ease. Mulder bowled well, when called on, taking a wicket on his debut. 3

Keshav Maharaj: 2 matches, 39 runs, average: 9.75. 4 wickets, average: 35.25

Just four runs less than Dean Elgar and 12 behind Hashim Amla. Two of South Africa’s top three. Tough going, which was also the case for Maharaj at times in this series. His highlight was his two wickets in two balls that just about had South Africa home in the first Test. An economy rate of 4.45 suggests Maharaj is a shadow of the player he was when he burst onto the Test scene. 4

Kagiso Rabada: 2 matches, 25 runs, average: 6.25. 8 wickets, average: 29.50

Was displaced as the world’s best Test bowler after a tough first Test in Durban. Couldn’t finish the job for the Proteas in the first Test, and you can’t help but think KG wasn’t anywhere near his damaging best in this series. Could use a series against Australia to fire him up like we know he can. 5

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Dale Steyn: 2 matches, 19 runs, average: 6.33. 6 wickets, average: 32.66

Dale forgot that a yorker exists in cricket, failing to attempt one at number eleven Vishwa Fernando in Durban. That he barely bowled at the stumps to him was criminal, failing to get South Africa home in an unloseable match. Yes, he has been an absolutely brilliant bowler for the Proteas (in fact, my own cricketing idol), but he can deliver better. 5

Duanne Olivier: 2 matches, 8 runs, average: 4.00. 7 wickets, average: 25.42

Failed to reach the heights of the Pakistan series, but still threatened. Put simply, he was part of a badly underperforming side, and was one of the best of a bad bunch. 6

Vernon Philander: 1 match, 22 runs, average: 11.00. 3 wickets, average: 15.00

South Africa would have loved to have big Vern at Port Elizabeth, but that’s just a big excuse. Good with the ball in Durban, delivering control, which is something South Africa severely lacked. 6

Sri Lanka

Dimuth Karunaratne: 2 matches, 86 runs, average: 21.50, 1 wicket, average: 21.00

Led his side to a historic series win! Underwhelming with the bat, but all smiles. “We didn’t expect it”, said Dimuth post series. Neither did the South Africans. Complacent *cough* complacent. Took the wicket of opposition skipper! 5

South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings – “Even you can get a wicket!”

Lahiru Thirimanne: 2 matches, 60 runs, average 15.00

Read somewhere that Thirimanne is the “Sri Lankan Shaun Marsh.” Always seems to do just enough to keep his place in the side. With more starts in this series, along with the fact Sri Lanka won it, his place is probably secure for the next series. 4

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Oshada Fernando: 2 matches, 131 runs, average: 43.66

Excellent in the second innings of both matches. Faf du Plessis and South Africa would have gone to bed on the second evening of the second Test hoping to make very quick inroads into Sri Lanka’s batting. Fernando was having none of it. He dominated the final day of the series. Awesome stuff. 7

Kusal Mendis: 2 matches, 112 runs, average: 37.33

Flirts more outside the off stump than your average dude at a bar. Finished the series beautifully to get Sri Lanka home, but the Sri Lankans will want more from Mendis consistently. 6

Kusal Perera: 2 matches, 224 runs, average: 112.00

This man could have scored a king pair in Port Elizabeth and still got a 10 for his series performance. Shaun Pollock on commentary, when Perera hit the winning runs in Durban, exclaimed that it was one of the best innings by a Sri Lankan outside Sri Lanka. Truth be told, it was one of the best Test innings of all time. Absolutely extraordinary 153* to put Sri Lanka 1-0 up in the series. An innings for the ages. 10

Photo by Steve Haag/Getty Images. South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings – The innings of a lifetime.

Dhananjaya de Silva: 2 matches, 90 runs, average: 30.00. 5 wickets, average: 11.80

Dilruwan Perera, who? A few eyebrows were raised when Perera was left out of the squad, but de Silva was absolutely superb when called upon. Picked up wickets for his captain, and was involved in a crucial 96-run partnership with Kusal Perera in the amazing Durban run-chase. 7.5

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Niroshan Dickwella: 2 matches, 50 runs, average: 16.66

Couldn’t reach the heights of his Australia series, but his celebrations on the balcony made for superb viewing. Better than anything South Africa could produce. 3

Suranga Lakmal: 2 matches, 11 runs, average: 3.66. 5 wickets, average: 30.60

Ran in tirelessly for his team. Economy rate of 2.40 in a fast scoring series is testament to his effort. 6

Vishwa Fernando: 2 matches, 7 runs, average: N/A. 12 wickets, average: 18.91

Outstanding. Absolutely outstanding. Hung in with Kusal Perera to get Sri Lanka home in Durban, and also tore through South Africa’s batting, particularly best mate Dean Elgar. Promised in Australia with his swing, but fell away. Here, he was one of Sri Lanka’s finds of the series. Take care of him, please. 10

Kasun Raijitha: 2 matches, 14 runs, average: 4.66. 9 wickets, average: 23.22

Second highest wicket taker behind his teammate Vishwa Fernando. Picked up key wickets in the Port Elizabeth Test just as his side needed them. On the expensive side, but took wickets. 7

Lasith Embuldeniya: 2 matches, 28 runs, average: 14.00. 6 wickets, average: 23.83

So much to like about this youngster. He has what it takes to be successful in various conditions. Such a shame that he picked up a thumb dislocation, but Sri Lanka seem to have a really prospect on their hands! Bye, bye, Lakshan Sandakan. 7

So, there we have it.

One of the most incredible results in Test history. So much so that if there were a third Test, you would still have South Africa as favourites. Instead, no one can blame Faf du Plessis if he wanted to dig a hole in the middle of Port Elizabeth and hide in it.

A great series for Sri Lanka!

Thanks for reading!

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South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings

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South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test Series Player Ratings

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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