Sri Lanka vs. South Africa: Ranking All 11 SA Players from the 2014 Test Series
South Africa clinched a 1-0 series win after a thrilling draw against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The series had its ups and downs, and while the visitors were all-round the better performers, there will be a few players whose performances have not done their future prospects much good.
These ratings are very much subjective, as most ratings are. Add your thoughts on who should be rated what in the comments section.
All stats via ESPNCricinfo unless otherwise stated.
Runs: 68 @ 17.00 average
A firm but fair rating for Alviro Petersen whose spot in the team is coming under increasing scrutiny.
He has scored 50 just thrice since the start of last year, and every dismissal in this Test was because of his own carelessness, not because of Sri Lanka’s brilliance.
Runs: 129 @ 32.25 average
Dean Elgar's hundred in the first Test was significant in terms of his own future, but his failure to follow up was a big disappointment.
Both dismissals in the second Test were unnecessary, and while he is far from being on notice, he does need to work on his temperament and consistency.
Faf Du Plessis
Runs: 163 @ 40.75 average
Faf du Plessis is one of the many men for building a bridge over troubled waters. When it comes to needing to dig in, Du Plessis does it with aplomb.
He didn't score a hundred this series, but he did spend a load of time at the crease. While his "go-slow" approach can become a bit of an issue when South Africa might be looking to put the pedal to the metal, for this series, it was perfect.
Runs: 197 @ 65.66 average
Although some might dispute Amla's ranking based on his batting in the first Test, there is method behind the number.
Firstly, his declaration in the first Test was completely unconventional by South African standards. Probably not all that risky in the greater scheme of things, it did challenge South Africa's usual approach.
Despite failing with the bat, his captaincy in his first outing was good. He more than made up for the lack of runs in the first Test by scoring a match-saving hundred in the second.
He batted for 486 minutes in the first innings, helping South Africa take time out of the game to put the pressure on Sri Lanka.
In the second innings, he spent almost three hours at the crease, once again showing that he is completely unflappable.
AB De Villiers
Runs: 121 @ 30.25 average
Unburdened from the wicketkeeping gloves due to injury, AB de Villiers had a somewhat disappointing series by his standards.
He had a stellar knock in the first Test but was somewhat disappointing in the second. His dig-in efforts fell a little bit flat in the first innings of the second Test.
He was undone by a beautiful ball in the second innings, but overall, De Villiers didn't live up to his usual high standards.
Quinton De Kock
Runs: 124 @ 31.00 average
In the greater scheme of things, Quinton de Kock had a successful tour.
He scored his maiden fifty, he kept more than aptly in conditions he would not be familiar with and he showed glimpses of having the maturity and patience to play a long innings.
He still has a lot to learn, especially against the spin, but for now, De Kock can be quite pleased with his time in Sri Lanka.
Runs: 114 @ 57.00 average
Bowling: 5 wickets @ 33.40
A stellar hundred in the first innings, a contribution with the ball and a long dig in the second Test all adds up to a very good tour for JP Duminy.
Although he hardly scored runs in the second Test, he did add to South Africa's plan to take time out of the game.
His contribution with the ball cannot be underestimated either. With Imran Tahir misfiring, the fact that Duminy bowled 44 overs was invaluable in giving the South African quicks a break.
Bowling: 2 wickets @ 76.00
Runs: 63 @ 31.50 average
Vernon Philander failed at being a bowler on this tour, but his contribution with the bat, especially in the second innings of the second Test, should not be glossed over.
From a bowling perspective, though, Philander failed. Since that is his main role in the team, it notches him down the rating just a little bit.
While his fellow seamers were taking wickets on tracks not suitable to them at all, Philander's line and length didn't work, and he didn't seem to know how to adapt either.
Bowling: 13 wickets @ 17.46
Runs: 39 @ 13.00 average
Dale Steyn probably deserves a 10 out of 10. On tracks which everyone insists are not suitable for fast bowling, Steyn was unstoppable.
Although his figures were far less flattering in Colombo, he was simply unstoppable in Galle. For a fast bowler to do what he did in those conditions underscored his brilliance once again.
Bowling: 12 wickets @ 16.00
Runs: 22 @ 11.00 average
South Africa's workhorse seamer finally got the rewards he has deserved for so long.
Morkel was effective in both Tests, and while he is usually the one who dries up an end while his colleagues pick up the wickets, he did both this time.
This could very well be Morkel's "coming of age" tour, if he continues to bowl the way he did in Sri Lanka and is given the luxury of having a spinner who can hold up an end, Morkel's final years in South African colours will be superb.
Bowling: 4 wickets @ 84.00
Sure, Imran Tahir played a key part in knuckling down and helping South Africa survive in the second Test, but he is a bowler first. Any rearguard magic that comes from him is a bonus.
He was by far South Africa's worst bowler, despite being the frontline spinner. Tahir's inability to show any sort of consistency or control when it really matters cost South Africa dearly.
The team needs a spinner who can hold up an end, and although Tahir has a wonderful googly, he doesn't have enough control overall to keep things tidy.