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South Africa All Time ODI XI

South Africa Cricket has a great history in the longer formats of the game, and that is well known.

However, many do not know that they have the highest win percentage (61.29) in the history of ODI cricket too, excluding associate nations.

Even after entering so many World Cups as favourites, they failed to taste the sweetness of lifting the cup, even for a single time.

Heavily thrashed by luck (as most of us say) in their first World Cup, Wrong Team selection cost them the 1996 WC, and the 1999 and 2015 WC cases need no introduction.

The 1998 Champions Trophy is the only ICC trophy they have on their shelf.
Apart from all these Team achievements, South Africa has produced great players in this format of the game.

The likes of AB de Villiers, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener are also in contention to be part of the All-Time ODI XI, which makes them an automatic pick in South Africa All Time ODI XI.

What are the other names in the XI except these three? Read this article for the complete answer to this question.

Hashim Amla

As cool as Ice and as solid as RockThe first word that comes to mind after listening to his name is “Underrated”. His ODI career can be considered a synonym for that word.

Having a reputation as a Test specialist among some fans, Amla’s career ODI average is higher than his Test average; that too by a margin of 3 with a healthy strike rate of 88. 

Fastest to reach 2000,3000,4000,….,7000 runs in ODI cricket and along with them, he was the First South African Player to score 25 centuries and no one in the world has achieved this faster than Amla, 151 innings.

His innings against Pakistan in 2010, sum up his gritty character, where he scored 119 runs and all the other batsmen scored less than 100 combined against a Bowling Lineup of Akhtar, Razzaq, Ajmal, Riaz and Afridi. The importance of that innings can be justified by the fact that South Africa won that match just by 2 runs.

Quinton de Kock

South Africa has produced many great openers in ODI cricket such as Graeme Smith, Garry Kirsten, Herschelle Gibbs etc.

Quinton is as good as any name mentioned above (if not better) for the opening slot, and the fact that he provides great skill in the wicket-keeping department is also a reason why he got picked above those names.

He has scored 5584 runs in his ODI career so far, with an average of 46 and a strike rate of 95.

Quinton de Kock is the only active cricketer in this team; being just 29, he has at least 4-5 years remaining in international cricket.

Jacques Kallis

Even though his ODI career was just a shadow of how great his Test career was; still, that shadow is enough to secure him a place in South Africa’s All-Time ODI XI.

11579 runs with an average of 44.36 with a moderate strike rate of 72.89. Along with that, Kallis has more than 250 wickets (273) to his name with a decent average of 31.79, which means he also adds a decent bowling option to the team.

So he can bat as much as a regular batsman, can bowl even 10 overs if required, and not forget that Kallis was a great slip fielder too. So, A complete package.

AB de Villiers

He is simply the greatest ODI batsman from South Africa by a notable margin.

As good as anyone in modern-day cricket, Mr 360 was the name that revolutionized ODI cricket. 

His numbers are pretty great, with 9577 runs with an average of 53.5 and a strike rate of 101.1, with 25 100s to his name.

AB de Villiers can be considered a synonym for the Ideal ODI Batsman, performed in almost all countries against all the opposition; even in the Biggest sporting event of cricket, “ODI World Cup”, he has an average of 63.52, the highest in the history for a batsman with over 1000 runs.

Hansie Cronje (c)

The man who gave a reputation to the South African team since apartheid. Many will know him because of his name in fixing scandals; but even before that, he left a significant impact on South African Cricket, especially in ODI cricket.

Cronje was almost a complete all-rounder in this format; a decent batsman with 5565 runs with an average of 38.65. (Strike rate: 76.48), a good fielder as most of the players in this country. 

His medium-pace bowling was quite good, 114 wickets with an average close to 35, signifying that he was at least an average bowler who could bowl when required.

Now, if Cronje’s skill set of Batting, Bowling and Fielding was not enough, He was also regarded as one of the best captains in cricket history, especially due to his on-field tactics. 

South Africa won 99 matches (out of 138) under his captaincy, a win percentage of 73 (The third-best in the history of ODI cricket). Also, South Africa’s only ICC trophy win (1998 Champions Trophy)  came under his captaincy.

David Miller

Only two batsmen in South African cricket strike above 100 in ODI cricket; one of them is batting at 4 in this team, and the second will bat at 6.

David explosive Miller, even though he is generally inconsistent in this format, has scored 3408 runs with an average of 40.57.

His dynamite natureability to win matches single-handedly on his day, and gun fielding make him a default pick in this XI.

Lance Klusener

He is simply the definition of a complete all-rounder in One Day Cricket. 3576 runs with an average of 41.1, and that too, with a strike rate of 89.92, are just great numbers for a finisher in 96-04.

Explaining how good he was, even regarded as a bowling-all-rounder, he could be a part of this team, just on his batting skills.

192 wickets with an average of under 30 with an economy of 4.7 can be termed as a massive addition to his records.

In the 1992 World Cup, Lance gave one of the best individual performances in the tournament’s history. His 281 runs with an average of 140 and a strike rate of over 120 need no explanation, except that he was also the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in that WC, 17 wickets @ 20.59.

In the 6 matches South Africa won in that WC, he won the Man of The Match award in 4, including three consecutive MOMs, which completely sums up the reason why he became Man of The Tournament in the 1999 WC.

Shaun Pollock

If Klusener was one of the best all-rounders in One Day Cricket, Shaun Pollock also came in the same bracket.

However, unlike Klusener, Pollock was a bowling all-rounder, taking 393 wickets with an average of less than 25. Along with that, Pollock has the best ERA-Adjusted Economy among all the bowlers with 200+ ODI wickets; that is the reason why he is among the Top ODI Bowlers of All Time.

With being so good in the bowling department, Pollock had decent batting ability, he could save the team from a deadly collapse and also knows the art of finishing well with the bat.

3000 runs with an average of more than 25 and a strike rate of 87 are enough to justify this point.

Allan Donald

Sheer Pace and Consistent Line & Length with an action that is as smooth as silk. The “White Lightning” name was given for a reason to him. 

272 wickets with a bowling average of 21.79, and he has the highest Z-Factor Value for average in ODI cricket among bowlers with 200+ ODI wickets.

Donald is also the only fast bowler to have an away average of under 20 (minimum 150 wickets) and an average of under 27 in all the countries he played in (under 25 except SA and WI).

Donald and Pollock will be taking the new ball for our team. What a delightful sight to watch.

Makhaya Ntini

Ntini will be the first change bowler in our South Africa All Time ODI XI.

With the extreme pace and an action that is too hard to portray, he has grabbed 266 wickets with an average of 24.66 and an economy of 4.5.

During the Famous Australia tour of South Africa in 2006, Ntini enjoyed 2 of the most famous (or best) moments of his ODI career, 6-22 in the second ODI and that 1*(1)  in maybe the greatest ODI match of all time.

Imran Tahir

South Africa doesn’t have a history of producing great spinners, which can be associated with the fact that no spinner has ever taken 100 ODI wickets for them except “Imran Tahir”.

Tahir took 173 wickets with a bowling average of less than 25; he was way apart from any other spinner SA has produced in this format.

The Fastest African Bowler to reach the 100 wickets mark; Tahir, even when he was famous for bowling attacking lengths, has an economy of 4.65, which is quite good considering the era he played.

So, Our South African All Time ODI XI is:

  1. Hashim Amla
  2. Quinton De Kock (wk)
  3. Jacques Kallis
  4. AB de Villiers
  5. Hansie Cronje (c)
  6. David Miller
  7. Lance Klusener
  8. Shaun Pollock
  9. Imran Tahir
  10. Allan Donald
  11. Makhaya Ntini

That’s it, we have discussed all 11 players and the reasoning behind their selection ahead of some other players. You can mention your South Africa All Time ODI XI in the comments section.

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Rohit Chhabra
Rohit Chhabra
Knows a Bit About Cricket!!
    AB DEVILLIERS (c) (wk)

    H Amla – PERFECT OPENING BATSMAN, maybe even in top 4 openers of all time in ODI cricket.

    Graeme Smith was a destructive opening batsman and can bowl occasionally as well.
    Q De Kock has a better strike rate, however most of his runs are against teams like Ireland etc, I”lol have Smith take the opening spot.
    Gary Kirsten was a reliable opening batsman but Smith with his knocks had that dangerman aura.

    Kallis – unarguably a perfect batsman and more than a part time Fast Medium Bowler who did not shy away from bowling the first spell and good in slips as well.

    H Gibbs was a lethal batsman of the South African 90’s era. He has to be in the team, A brilliant Fielder,
    South African cricket team post apartheid was known for Fielding above anything else.

    AB Devilliers – The most loved cricketer , incomparable run accelerator and finisher averaging 77 above at no.5

    His Keeping abilities are undoubtedly second to none.

    H Cronje was a cricket legend and one would look at his captaincy brilliance in awe despite the fixing scandal, he has my respects. you sell cricket you can captain the match fixing all time XI, no place in all SA time XI.

    Du Plessis was a reliable batsman of the team, it gives the credibility somewhat Mike Bevan brought in the team Australia. Ideally favoured at no.3 as he averages 55 but Du Plessis was equally formidable at no.6 spot because of his batting finesse.

    Jonty Rhodes – One player because of whom South African fielding had become a benchmark. His 105 catches helped bowling legends in South African team to pick wickets and had improvised several of run outs for his team with directs hits as well. Reliable and a charismatic fielder like none. A fine technically sound batsman with a good strike rate of his time. His fielding abilities gave the South Africans a competitive edge over other teams,
    Lance Klusener was a reliable finisher and had bailed South Africa out on numerous occasions both with bat and ball, had 12 players been allowed to play – he was in the team. He is a cricketing legend especially because of his 99 World Cup performances where he almost single handedly lead them to victory and was awarded Man of the tournament, but this competitive South African side already has two all rounders who are pace bowlers as well. South African middle order was relatively weaker in late 90s and early 2000s, with AB, Du Plessis and Gibbs in middle order, it has become more reliable than ever. Lance Klusener could get the cricket stadium and pavilion in a frenzy with his bat, but the presence of Jonty while fielding is enough to light up the energy of the remaining other 10 players in the fielding side, fastest runner between wickets too and it counts.

    Shaun Pollock – Resorted to old age formula of line and length instead of pace and was very good in picking wickets with a good econony rate, an exuberant batsman who can throw the bat around effectively as a late finisher, he bats at no.8 spot and opens the bowling.

    Imran Tahir – World Class spinner.
    Nicky Boje and Pat Symcox both were competitive but Imran Tahir was a class apart and a breakthrough specialist to get rid of any partnerships.

    Allan Donald
    Lighting fast in his youth and the most feared bowler ever, I personally used to hate him when he bowled against India.
    Best bowler of his generation along with Wasim Akram and McGrath.

    Makhaya Ntini took up the regular bowling ranks after Allan Donald’s retirement and was quite a efficient and an effective bowler of his time.

    Dale Steyn will be missed, Grant Elliot hit you for a six.

  2. Very good team. Mine would have Gibbs open with De Kock with Cronje at 6, so no Miller. I have also been pondering of Rabada over Ntini but can settle with either. Explosive team, now only if luck stayed with them 🙂

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