SA20 2024: We pick our form XI — and the season’s biggest flops

Our team excludes several well established Proteas players who battled to find top form during the competition.

The second edition of the SA20 wrapped up at the weekend with the Sunrisers Eastern Cape crowned champions again. It was another successful tournament for the organisers and several players.

Here we pick a form SA player XI, in batting order. Several established big-name Proteas players found the going tough and have missed out on selection.

Ryan Rickelton

The opening batter scored the most runs (530) with an average of nearly 59 and a strike-rate 173 — a phenomenal record against quality bowling attacks. In 10 knocks he went past 50 five times, and smacked 41 fours and 34 sixes — there is no reason why he should not be picked by the Proteas.

Matthew Breetzke

The top order batter, who’s threatened the national selectors before with some quality performances locally, showed over the last month he now deserves a decent run in the Proteas set-up. He scored 416 runs in 13 knocks at a strike-rate of 135. He hit 40 fours and 22 sixes and regularly got his team, DSG, off to a flying start.

Matthew Breetzke
Matthew Breetzke of Durban’s Super Giants. Picture: SA20

Rassie van der Dussen

One of the few regular Proteas players who performed well over the last month, Van der Dussen scored 328 runs off 222 balls, including a high score of 104, at a strike-rate of 148. He may already be 35 years old, but with all his experience, Van der Dussen showed he still has plenty to offer the national team.

Aiden Markram

The leader of the winning team, the Sunrisers, may not have had as big an impact as he did in season one, but he led his team brilliantly and contributed some important runs in the middle order. In total he scored 261 runs in nine innings at an average of 33 and a strike rate of 138.

Heinrich Klaasen

The player of the competition was at his phenomenal best over the last month and needs to fulfil the same role for the Proteas as he did for DSG. Klaasen scored 447 runs at an average of 41, with four fifties. His strike-rate of 208 is almost unbelievable. He’s a match-winner and game-changer of the highest order.

Tristan Stubbs

The youngster didn’t quite find his range last season and also battled when called up to the Proteas set-up, but in this season’s SA20 he really came good. He scored 301 runs at 60.20 with a strike-rate of 168 — a quite stunning campaign. He went past 50 three times … and in this selection he’s also the wicket-keeper.

Tristan Stubbs
Tristan Stubbs of Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Picture: SA20

Marco Jansen

The tall all-rounder took a few games to get going but when he did, there was no looking back. He may have scored only 105 runs from six knocks, with a high score of 71 not out, but his strike rate of 177 was impressive. He was also the top wicket-taker with 20, at an average of 14.30.

Keshav Maharaj

The leader of DSG did a great job throughout the campaign and his experience will always be key. He was the leading spinner by some margin with 15 wickets at 20.46, and fourth joint leading wicket-taker overall. He also made some telling contributions with the bat lower down the order.

Ottniel Baartman

The man from the Eastern Cape was a revelation, after promising so much for a few seasons now. He bowled fast and straight and picked up 18 wickets in total, at an average of 11.70. His death bowling was particularly impressive, hence an economy rate of 6.95. He’s now a must for the Proteas.

Ottneil Baartman
Ottniel Baartman of Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Picture: SA20

Lizaad Williams

He was one of the few standouts in an up-and-down campaign by JSK and had he not been injured at the back end, maybe his team would have made the final. Williams bowled just 25 overs in total and picked up 15 wickets at 16.50. He showed he can now be considered as a regular for the national team.

Lungi Ngidi

The seasoned campaigner was a star for Paarl Royals. His number of different deliveries, from fast to cutters to back-of-the-hand balls, were wonderful to watch and bamboozled the best batters. He picked up 13 wickets at 25 and should now be backed to be the leader of the Proteas bowling attack.

Bubbling under and unlucky to miss out: Jordan Hermann, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kyle Verreynne, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Wayne Parnell, Junior Dala, Nandre Burger

The Flops

For some big-name stars, the 2024 SA20 was a campaign to forget.

Batters Theunis de Bruyn (57 runs from five knocks), Donovan Ferreira (125 from seven innings), Dewald Brevis (150 from nine), Rilee Rossouw (156 from nine), and to a lesser extent Quinton de Kock (213 runs from 12 knocks) and Faf du Plessis (239 from 11), would have been disappointed with their showings.

The inconsistency with the bat for the above players was concerning, with their total number of runs scored swelled by one big innings, in the case of De Kock 83 not out and 57 for Du Plessis, while Ferreira had one innings of 56 not out, Brevis one knock of 66 not out and Rossouw one knock of 82.

Among the bowlers, Kagiso Rabada will feel he didn’t quite hit top form either, after picking up only nine wickets from his 10 matches at 32 apiece.