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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.