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South Africans in IPL 13: The 11 capped Proteas in the UAE

There will be 11 South African cricketers on show at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), including 10 Proteas eligible stars and one Kolpak player.

South Africans in the IPL

Here we look at which franchises they will turn out for and what they will be looking to achieve for their sides.

Faf du Plessis – Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Faf Du Plessis celebrates after scoring a fifty during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on April 06, 2019. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR / AFP)

The former Proteas skipper returns to the Chennai Super Kings, whom he helped to the 2018 title.

Du Plessis has most often been used as an opener by CSK who customarily pair him with former Australia international Shane Watson. His energy in the field and experience will provide valuable assistance to skipper MS Dhoni.

The odd couple have achieved great success for the Super Kings who have three South Africans on their books. 

Lungi Ngidi – Chennai Super Kings

Lungi Ngidi of South Africa celebrates the wicket of Moeen Ali of England during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England and South Africa at The Oval on May 30, 2019 in London, England PHOTO: ICC Media Zone

Ngidi surprised many with his ability to adapt to Indian conditions with the Super Kings but he will need to make yet more adjustments with the tournament moved to the UAE.

The tracks in the Emirates are notably slower than many found in India, especially when compared to the pitches rolled out for the IPL.

Six South African seamers have been picked up for the IPL including Ngidi.

Imran Tahir – Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Imran Tahir celebrates a wicket during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. A. Chidhambaram Stadium in Chennai. PHOTO: BCCI/Sportzpics

The Veteran spinner also returns for CSK, who are quite happy with the efforts of their trio of match-winning Proteas.

Tahir is the man you turn to when you need a wicket and he has done the job for Dhoni at the Super Kings and the now defunct Rising Pune Super Giant.

Despite being in his 40s Tahir shows no signs of slowing down and he is the only South African with some match fitness after he took part in the recent Caribbean Premier League.

AB de Villiers – Royal Challengers Bangalore

AB de Villiers of Royal Challengers Bangalore plays a shot during match 31 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on the 15th April 2019 Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

AB de Villiers will reunite with Virat Kohli in a superstar axis that has yet to yield an IPL title.

De Villiers is a crowd favourite and even without any fans in the ground he will set out to entertain as well as win matches for RCB

He will be expected to contribute in every area except bowling, though he shouldn’t be asked to don the wicketkeeping gloves unless it is an emergency.

Dale Steyn – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Dale Steyn of Royal Challengers Bangalore chats with AB de Villiers during match 39 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings held at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on the 21st April 2019 Photo by: Ron Gaunt /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Steyn seems to grow and develop as a T20 bowler every time he turns out and his focus on the shortest format is starting to bear fruit.

In the squad as much for his impact as a mentor to young fast bowlers as for his ability to win matches, Steyn often seems to boost every other bowler in a team.

Injuries have plagued previous spells in the IPL and Steyn will be hoping that he can get through the tournament in one piece.

Chris Morris – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris Morris of the NMB Giants during the 2019 Mzansi Super League match between Jozi Stars and NMB Giants at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on the 16 November 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Morris is highly regarded in the world of franchise T20 cricket even if the Proteas haven’t found room for him of late.

RCB hope the allrounder will bring balance to their often batting-heavy side. 

His variations make him a regular source of four overs for a skipper on any given day and he is capable of clearing the fence with the willow in hand.

Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals bowler Kagiso Rabada celebrates after he dismissed Mumbai Indians cricketer Suryakumar Yadav during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in New Delhi on April 18, 2019. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) /

The Capitals 2019 campaign came off the rails when Rabada, until then the season’s leading wicket-taker suffered an injury.

The Capitals, who rebranded their franchise formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils, will build their attack around Rabada.

A well-rested Rabada is raring to go having enjoyed the longest break of his professional career to date courtesy of Rona.

Anrich Nortje -Delhi Capitals

Anrich Nortje of South Africa during the 2020 International 1st T20 Series match between South Africa and Australia at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on the 21 February 2020 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Signed as a late replacement for England allrounder Chris Woakes, Nortje said after arriving in the UAE that he wasn’t sure the trip would happen until he was sitting in the plane.

Nortje joins teammate and fellow quick Rabada at the Capitals who will hope he is at his incisive best.

The paceman was set to make his IPL debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders last season but was withdrawn due to injury.

David Miller – Rajasthan Royals

David Miller of South Africa during the 1st ODI match between South Africa and Australia at Eurolux Boland Park on February 29, 2020 in Paarl, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Miller has moved to the Rajasthan Royals after long-time franchise Kings XI Punjab released the Proteas finisher.

He may struggle to break into the XI with the likes of Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes signed as the team’s other overseas professionals.

For his part Miller will want to produce performances that are all killer and no filler to push ahead in the overseas player queue.

Hardus Viljoen – Kings XI Punjab

Hardus Viljoen of Kings XI Punjab during match 37 of the Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Delhi Capitals and the Kings XI Punjab held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi on 20 April 2019 Photo by: Ron Gaunt /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Viljoen surrendered his Proteas eligibility for a career in England but is now a T20 gun for hire joining up with the Pretty Zinta’s Kings XI. 

He was stuck in South Africa’s lockdown after returning to play for the Titans in the 2019/20 season and hasn’t played since February like every other South African except Tahir.

Picked primarily as a bowler Viljoen can do a job with the bat, particularly if a few lusty blows are what is required.

Quinton de Kock – Mumbai Indians 

Quinton de Kock of the Mumbai Indians plays a shot during match 19 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Mumbai Indians held at the Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad on the 6 April 2019 Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

The Proteas T20 skipper will once again be a key performer for the Mumbai Indians.

De Kock was a reliable source of runs in the 2019 season, helping the Indians overcome a slow start to win the title.

He is likely to partner Australia batsman Chris Lynn in facing up to the new-ball for the highly successful franchise.

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