Kagiso Rabada Proteas. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Kagiso Rabada and Proteas teammates celebrate. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

SUMMER OF SUCCESS: Proteas ratings – Superstars Elgar and Rabada

In a continued series, we rate the leading Proteas players from the series against India. Next up: Dean Elgar and Kagiso Rabada.

Kagiso Rabada Proteas. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Kagiso Rabada and Proteas teammates celebrate. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

It’s been a summer of great success for the Proteas, who claimed a 2-1 Test series win against India before backing that up with an ODI whitewash over the visiting team who arrived on South African shores as the out-and-out favourites.

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IN PART TWO OF THIS NEW SERIES, WE DISH OUT RATINGS TO PROTEAS DUO DEAN ELGAR AND KAGISO RABADA

Dean Elgar (8)

As the Proteas’ Test captain, Elgar led from the front in more ways than one. More than anything, though, it was his fighting spirit with the bat that served as an inspiration for the South African team.

His Test series started with a fighting knock of 77 in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test, but his best was left for the second clash when he scored 28 and then 96 not out in a sensational match-winning performance.

Elgar took numerous body blows during that innings, but he simply refused to give in to the Indian bowling attack, ultimately leading the way to a stunning seven-wicket win.

It was that knock, and ultimate result, that was undoubtedly the turning point for the Proteas – and so even when Elgar only accumulated 33 runs in the final Test, it didn’t prove all that costly.

As captain, Elgar’s leadership was outstanding, with the team and senior players such as Rabada clearly responding to his messages behind the scenes.

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Kagiso Rabada (9)

The three-Test series against India seemed to mark the rebirth of Rabada, who emerged as one of the Proteas’ standout heroes.

Although Rabada took seven wickets in the opening Test, he didn’t quite look to be performing at the peak of his powers. It’s now an open secret that some tough conversations were held behind the scenes, and he responded with a sequence of fiery bowling spells for the remainder of the series.

In Johannesburg, the fast bowler took three wickets in each innings – including one inspirational and game-changing spell – while he followed that up with seven wickets in the decisive final Test.

In totality, Rabada re-established himself as the unequivocal spearhead of the Proteas’ bowling attack, rediscovering some of the best form and rhythm of his career.

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