With the Ram Slam T20 fast approaching, cricket fans around South Africa are gearing up for a month of dazzling big hits and spectacular crowd catches. While our local competition doesn’t attract as many of the big internationals as the IPL and KFC Big Bash, there are some quality international players on show this year that will thrill the hordes of fans with their cricketing prowess.
Although he’s not been in the greatest nick of late, the Dolphins’ batsman is more than capable of turning the corner and setting this competition alight. Miller possesses a wide array of shots and is able to clear the rope both straight and square of the wicket. He is probably most at home in this format of the game having made his debut for the KZN franchise against the Warriors as a 17 year-old.
The former Maritsburg College boy is also an invaluable asset in the field. He possesses one of the best throwing arms in world cricket. Couple this with his safe hands and his catlike dexterity, opposition batsmen will do well to think twice before challenging his arm.
Highest Score: 101*
Strike rate: 137.54
The big West Indian all-rounder is probably one of the most exciting players to watch in world T20 cricket at the moment. Having played for the Cape Cobras in last season’s edition of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Pollard opted to sign for the franchise again this season. However, he may miss a portion of the campaign if he’s called up to the West Indian squad for their tour of Sri Lanka.
The big man has little regard for traditional stroke play opting instead to bludgeon the ball to all parts of the ground. His blatant disregard of opposition bowlers has made him a fan favourite across the globe. He’s handy with the ball too, bowling some decent medium pace in the middle overs. While he’s more than useful with the ball, the West Indian juggernaut is worth his weight in gold in the middle-order.
Few cricketers in the history of the game have divided opinion quite like Kevin Pietersen. While we could harp on forever about all the controversy that surrounds the mercurial Englishman, we’ll take a look instead at his remarkable ability to strike the ball. Famed for his colourful stroke play and moments of unorthodox genius, the former Maritzburg College lad has come home to turn out for the Dolphins before heading out to Australia for the KFC Big Bash.
He brings with him a wealth of experience and the ability to take the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye. The burly Englishman can also turn his arm over a bit giving, his KZN franchise a valuable off-spin option in the middle overs.
Quinton de Kock
The diminutive wicket keeper / batsman has just returned from an outstanding ODI tour of India with the Proteas in which he scored 318 runs at an average 63.6. Coming in at the top of the innings for the Unlimited Titans, de Kock is more than capable of laying the foundations for his middle and lower order to explode during the final six or seven overs.
No doubt still on a high after his superb showing on the Sub-Continent, de Kock will be looking forward to playing on quicker South African decks that are more suited to his game. He’s incredibly strong square of the wicket on the leg side but has the ability to score all around the ground. Opposition bowlers will do well to keep the little dynamo quiet at this year’s competition.
Hailing from Zululand, the same part of KZN where his franchise coach, Lance Klusner, is from, Kyle Abbott rounds off our list of players to watch at this season’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge. Tall and strong, Abbott’s ability to bowl quickly whilst generating swing is one of his biggest assets. His consistent performances at List A and First Class level have earned him a number of call-ups to the South African national team.
Abbott is widely recognised as one of the best death bowlers in world cricket, consistently landing the ball in blockhole making scoring difficult for opposition batsmen toward the end of the innings. He is definitely one of the few bowlers at this year’s competition that can keep the wealth of attacking batsmen quiet.
Best Figures: 5/14