How good an all-rounder is Marco Jansen? If this ODI World Cup is anything to go by, he is as good as any in the world right now.
No bowler has taken more wickets in this World Cup than South Africa’s Jansen, and among bowlers to have taken 10 or more wickets, nobody has scored more runs than him.
Against New Zealand, at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday, South Africa didn’t need Jansen the batter, for the first time this tournament. The Proteas batters continued to deliver, as they scaled the 350-run mark for the fourth time in this World Cup.
Jansen the bowler was not to be silenced though. The left-arm pacer ripped through New Zealand’s top order, dismissing Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra in his opening spell to put South Africa on course for a huge win.
Jansen used his 6ft 8in frame to great effect as he extracted significant bounce from the Pune surface, making life difficult for the Black Caps and ending with figures of three for 31.
The 23-year-old’s prowess with the ball is not unknown. It is his batting ability that has taken the cricketing world by surprise this time out.
Going into this World Cup, Jansen had 265 runs in ODIs at an average of 29.44 with a strike rate of 114.72 – numbers that can be considered above par for a lower-order batter.
But he has upped his batting game in the tournament, garnering 143 runs in six innings at an average of 47.66 and a strike rate of 128.82.
Along the way, Jansen also scored his first ODI fifty, hitting a sparkling unbeaten 75 in 42 balls against England in Mumbai. He tagged along with a marauding Heinrich Klaasen to put on a 151-run partnership for the sixth wicket to essentially seal the game for the Proteas.
Jansen’s batting capabilities are vital to South Africa’s team structure. He is the buffer in the Proteas batting lineup at No. 7, connecting a full-throttle top order and a shaky tail. No one has scored more runs batting at No. 7 or lower in this World Cup than Jansen.
The eye-catching numbers with the bat have been complemented by an improved incisiveness with the ball.
Ahead of the World Cup, Jansen had 18 ODI wickets at an average of 38.22, with an economy of 6.24 and a bowling strike rate of 36.78.
But in this tournament, he has been in sizzling form with the ball, snaring 16 wickets at an impressive average of 20.06, with an economy of 5.83, while his strike rate is a stunning 20.62.
Jansen has taken at least two wickets in every innings he has bowled in this World Cup so far, effectively taking over as the leader of the South African bowling attack, which boasts of talents like Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Gerald Coetzee.
Jansen offered a glimpse of his all-round prowess in South Africa’s five-match ODI series against Australia, ahead of the World Cup. The 23-year-old picked eight wickets and scored 134 runs in the series. He reserved his best for the last match, where he thumped a 23-ball 47 before scalping five Aussie wickets for 39 runs. The going has only gotten better from there on for Jansen.
South Africa has a rich history of fast-bowling all-rounders - from the legendary Clive Rice to the dependable Shaun Pollock and the incredible Jacques Kallis. In Jansen, South Africa now has a potential candidate awaiting to join this league of extraordinary multi-faceted cricketers.
- India vs England Live Score, 4th Test Day 2: ENG 349/9; Jadeja gets Robinson, Bashir in one over
- Ranji Trophy Live Score 2024 Quarterfinals Day 2 Updates: Madhya Pradesh 234 all out; Sasikant, Nitish share seven wickets for Andhra
- Liverpool eyes ‘special’ League Cup final triumph against Chelsea
- Valencia match postponed after deadly city fire
- Inter Miami completes signing of midfielder Federico Redondo