Formidable Five : Fearsome South African pace battery is too hot to handle at the moment

Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and their partners are in an exquisite form at the moment.


South African Pace Bowling line up has always been a very formidable one ever since the nation has been playing the Gentleman’s Game at the top level.

The current South African pace attack has also been much talked about in the world of the sport. With the ongoing series between India and the Republic of South Africa, here is a detailed discussion of the current Proteas’ Pace attack.

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The current pace attack is led by the fearsome Dale Steyn. Dale Steyn has been the top pacer across the two longer formats of the game for quite some time at a stretch, until he started to fall victim to injuries. With 419 scalps, the speedster is just two wickets short of Shaun Pollock’s all time record for South Africa in tests.

Unfortunately for the Proteas, Steyn got injured during the first innings of the first test against India in the 2018 series. His injury has ruled him out of the entire series.

But the much versatile South Africa pace attack has made sure that the Rainbow Nation don’t feel the absence of their best bowler.

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Led by the experienced Morne Morkell, the South African bowling attack has been outstanding in the series so far. The 6 feet 6 pacer has been at his usual best on the fresh bouncy pitches of South Africa. The Titans’ seamer has added 8 wickets to take his tally to 285 in the ongoing series. He provided crucial breakthroughs during the first innings of the second test.

The 33-year old has been ably supported by Cape Town local boy Vernon Philander. Known as one of the best in the world when it comes to generate genuine movement off the seam, Philander picked up 6 in the 4th innings to clinch the victory at Cape Town. Philander has been one of the most successful and consistent bowlers in recent times, tormenting batsmen all across the world. Currently 6th in the world in the longest format of the game, Vernon Philander has already picked up 10 wickets in the series so far adding to his previous tally of 173 wickets.

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Kagiso Rabada is currently the number 1 bowler in the ICC Test Rankings. The 22-year old has been a revelation since his debut in 2015. Blessed with the ability to bowl good line and length at a pace of 90 mph consistently as well as generating movement off the seam, Rabada has ran havoc over batsmen from all across. Adding his 8 victims in the two tests against India in the series, the Lions’ seamer has picked up 114 wickets in only 25 test matches. Still on the right side of 20, he will continue to grow as a player in years to come.

The biggest surprise of the test series was the inclusion of Lungi Ngidi in the hosts’ squad. Having only played 9 first class matches before, many eyebrows were raised on his inclusion and they rose further when he replaced the injured Dale Steyn for the second test. Having been selected over the likes of Chris Morris and Duanne Olivier, the pressure was on the débutante to deliver against the mighty Indians. After impressing most, with his good disciplined bowling in the first innings, he got his maiden test scalp in the form of Parthiv Patel’s dismissal.

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If the first innings performance was anything close to being impressive, the 25-year old followed it up in style in the second. His destructive maiden 5-wicket haul (6 for 39) was enough to destroy the backbone of the Indian batting ensuring his team’s victory. He also earned a Man of the Match award on his debut test.

The Proteas have won the Mandela-Gandhi series once again and much of the credit goes to their seamers. Out of the 40 Indian wickets in the two tests, 36 have been picked up by their formidable pace battery.

With the third test match a few days away, India will have to deal with this fearsome attack very efficiently if they are to avoid a whitewash. But given their performance in the first two tests, it will be very difficult to contain the South African Fast Bowlers.

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