South Africa may have not won the World Cup but they have always been a formidable side. From the early 90s to now, South Africa have produced one of the best fast bowlers of all time. Even while touring India, their fast bowlers have been lethal despite conditions inclined to help the spinners.
As India take on South Africa at home, let’s take a look at the five most successful Proteas bowlers who have made a mark touring India.
Both the sides have gone up against each other in 28 ODIs (1991-2015) at Indian soil where the Proteas won 13 and lost 15 matches. Here’s a look at the bowlers who have done well in the limited-over cricket:
1. Allan Donald, nicknamed ‘The White Lightning’ was fast and furious with the white ball in hand. Debuted against India in 1991, Donald went on to grab as many as 18 wickets in nine games against India at an average of 20.11. He has one five-wicket haul against India taking five for 29. He kept a lid on the boundaries most of the time, hence the economy rate of 20.11. Overall, Donald has taken 46 wickets against India in 26 ODIs.
2. Dale Steyn has the same number of wickets as Donald but his bowling average has been 27.16. But Steyn is not to be blamed for his bowling average or his economy rate of 5.77. With the advent of T20 cricket and the pitches becoming flatter, Steyn did a pretty good job on his tour of India. His best bowling figures are 5 for 50 against India. Overall, he took 34 wickets against India in 18 ODIs. His economy rate improved when bowling on South African or pitches around the world in ICC events.
3. Shaun Pollock may not have as much pace as Steyn or Donald but he troubled Indian batsmen by swinging the ball both ways. Pollock has taken 13 wickets from eight games. The former South African skipper made the Indian batsmen work hard for runs. His economy rate was 4.11 and he bowled 10 maiden overs when touring India, the most by any South African bowler. Overall, Pollock is the highest wicket-taker against India with 48 wickets from 33 games.
4. Fanie de Villiers belongs to the post-apartheid era of South African cricket. De Villiers bowled alongside Donald during his career. The fast-medium bowler took 13 wickets from eight games against India. Overall, he had taken 21 wickets from 17 games against India.
5. Jacques Kallis is one of the all-time greats and arguably the best all-rounder. Kallis did the damage against India with both bat and ball. The all-rounder took 10 wickets from 12 games. Kallis was the go-to bowler for any South African skipper to get through the middle overs or chip in with a few overs in the death overs. Overall, he had 31 wickets from 37 games.
Kagiso Rabada is the only bowler who makes into the top-five of this list who is on the current side. Rabada has 10 wickets from ODIs on Indian soil already. One of the fastest South African bowler, Rabada is expected to add more to the list and probably the only contender at this point to go past Donald on this list.
However, there will be no ODIs on this tour but Rabada knows the Indian conditions. He has played for Delhi Capitals and knows how to bowl in the sub-continent conditions. He will be the one bowler to watch out for in the current series.