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Virat Kohli’s 25 Best Innings Across International Formats (RANKED): Mohali 2016, MCG 2022, Hobart 133*, Adelaide 141…Which One is Your Favorite?

Ranking Virat Kohli’s best innings is no easy task.

With 71 hundreds, 127 fifties, and countless other important knocks out of his 529 international innings, picking the Top 25 is a challenge. As Roman philosopher, Lucius Anneas Seneca is credited of saying,

“It is a rough road that leads to the height of greatness.”

– Lucius Anneas Seneca

Kohli’s consistency and the ability to rise to the top from the depth of hardship is what makes him truly great.

The winning moment at the MCG give cricket fans chills. Literal chills. This match reminded us of Virat Kohli’s eternal greatness. No man has been as dominating of a cricket player in all the three formats. Here is our Top 25 ranking of Virat Kohli’s best innings across T20I, ODI, and Test cricket.

List of Virat Kohli’s Best Innings

All the scorecards and some video highlights are linked for your reference.

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1. 82*(52) vs Pakistan, 2022 T20 World Cup

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne, Australia

Context: Melbourne Cricket Ground. 90,000 crowd. T20 World Cup 2022. India 31-4. Pakistan pacers all over India. The ghost of 2021. The 71st hundred wait. Questions on his form. Mental health break. And then came that innings. Then came that shot—The Shot Heard Around the World. From 31-4 to needing 28 runs in 8 balls to winning the match on the last ball. The chase master is back. The King is back.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 16th Match, Group 2 2022/23 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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2. 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka, 2012 CB Series

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Australia

Context: A love story begins in Australia. The coming of age for Virat Kohli. Needing to chase 320 in 40 overs, Kohli and co did it in 36.4 overs. Malinga’s figures of 7.4-0-96-1 says it all. The way Kohli handled the pressure, accelerated…this was only the signs to come for the record chaser he was about to become.

Video Highlights: Kohli Hobart Innings – YouTube

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 11th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.comScorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 11th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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3. 82*(53) vs Australia, 2016 T20 World Cup

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh India

Context: Virat Kohli Mohali innings. India vs Australia 2016 knock-out match. What an innings under pressure. Must-win game. A virtual quarter final. Australia & James Faulkner run into Virat Kohli at his absolute peak. Steady innings to begin with but flourish at the right time. The running, six hitting, and MS Dhoni, this innings had everything.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 31st Match, Super 10 Group 2 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

4. 141 (175) & 115 (184) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border-Gavaskar Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, Austral

Context: A glimpse of Virat Kohli, the captain, before he was the official captain. India had never won a Test series in Australia and chasing 364 on Day 5 was unthinkable. Enter Kohli. Centuries in both innings. Aggressive approach. Got India so close, but he was caught on the boundary with sixty runs still to go. India continued their positive approach and collapsed agonizingly short.

Video Highlights: 2nd Innings, 1st Innings

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 1st Test 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

5. 119 (181) & 96 (193) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2013-14

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Context: One of the great Test matches of the 2010s. Will always be remembered for the Faf-De Villiers partnership as South Africa almost chasing 438 before the draw was announced eight runs short. However, the game was nicely setup by the dominance of Kohli in both innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs South Africa 1st Test 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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6. 169 (272) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border Gavaskar Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia

Context: This match will always be remembered for THAT partnership. Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane smashing Mitchell Johnson’s bouncers. The transition from the Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman era to the Kohli-Rahane era was complete.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 3rd Test 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

7. 149 (225) vs England, 2018 Pataudi Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England

Context: 134 runs in 10 innings. Six single digit scores. 2 ducks. And a Jimmy Anderson. Probably the lowest point in Kohli’s career, technically and mentally. To come back in the next tour, score 593 runs, dominate Anderson, and conquer his inner demons is a life lesson for us all. It all started with this 149 in tough conditions.

Video Highlights: Kohli 100 England 2018

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of England vs India 1st Test 2018 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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8. 100*(52) vs Australia, 2013

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, India

Context: Some of the best shots you will ever see. Dancing down the wicket, straight over the bowlers’ head, numerous inside out shots. The series will be remembered for the emergence of Kohli-Rohit duo as the next stars of Indian cricket.

Video highlights: Virat Kohli 100* off 52 Balls | Ind vs Aus 2013

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 2nd ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

9. 49 (51) vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: The scorecard doesn’t tell you what we all felt that day. Pakistan 83/10 and India won by 5 wickets. Easy, right? Wrong. Due to the comeback kid, Mohammad Amir. Rohit, Rahane were gone for ducks. Raina soon followed, India 8/3. Then came Kohli’s masterclass, one full of patience, perseverance, and maturity.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 4th Match 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

10. 115*(66) vs Australia, 2013

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur, India

Context: One of the highest scoring ODI series in memory. Although he was already scoring loads of runs earlier in the series, this chase was the best of them all.

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli 115* of 66| India Vs Australia 2013

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 6th ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

11. 72*(44) vs South Africa, 2014 T20 World Cup Semi-Final

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: Before Melbourne, before Mohali, there was Mirpur. 72 off 44 balls. He himself said it was his ‘best T20 knock’ until that point.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs India 2nd Semi-Final 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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12. 153 (217) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2017-2018

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Supersport Park, Centurion, South Africa

Context: Under testing conditions and batting against the trio of Philander-Rabada-Morkel, Virat Kohli was excellent. Next highest score was just 46.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs India 2nd Test 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

13.160* (159) vs South Africa, 2018

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa

Context: Kohli at his absolute peak.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs South Africa 3rd ODI 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

14. 123 (257) vs Australia, Perth, Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Perth Stadium, Perth, Australia

Context: “Masterclass in mind and skill. One for the ages.” The commentator couldn’t have described it any better.

Video Highlights: Full highlights of Kohli’s Perth classic

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 2nd Test 2018/19 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

15. 183 (146) vs Pakistan, 2012

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: Smashed Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, and Shahid Afridi on his way to his top ODI knock.

Video Highlights: Kohli 183 vs Pakistan 2012

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 5th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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16. 103 (197) & 97 (152), 2018 Pataudi Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Context: Test matches mean a lot more when the team wins. Although India lost 4-1 in THAT Sam Curran series, Kohli’s 97 & 103 ensured at least one win in the series.

Video Highlights: 1st Innings, 2nd Innings

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs England 3rd Test 2018 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

17. 243 (287) & 50 (58) vs Sri Lanka, 2017

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, India

Context: A marathon 7-and-a-half-hour knock followed by a fifty in the second innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

18. 35 (49) vs Sri Lanka, 2011 World Cup Final

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Wankhede, Mumbai, India

Context: Among his plethora of centuries and fifties, this one is usually forgotten. After 31-2 with both Sehwag & Sachin back in the hut, Kohli & Gambhir’s steady 83-run partnership got India back in the game. Useful, impact knock.

Video Highlights: 2011 World Cup Final Highlights

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India Final 2010/11 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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19. 154* (134) vs New Zealand, 2016

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India

Context: Exhibition of the cover drive, pull shot, flick, and the straight drive.

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli 123 off 111 balls vs New Zealand 1st ODI Napier

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of New Zealand vs India 3rd ODI 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

20. 89*(47) vs West Indies, 2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final

  • Format: India
  • Opposition: West Indies
  • Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India

Context: Yet another one of Kohli’s ICC men T20 World Cup classic. After Rohit-Rahane 40s provided India a decent start, Kohli took the mantle to finish the innings off. From 50*(33) to 89*(47), but it was not meant to be.

Video Highlights: 2016 T20 WC Semi-Final Highlights

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs West Indies 2nd Semi-Final 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

21. 211 (366) vs New Zealand, 2016

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore, India

Context: A Top-25 Kohli series should probably include one of his seven double centuries. A marathon 365 (673) partnership between Rahane & Kohli. NZ were out of the game in the first innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs New Zealand 3rd Test 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

22. 94* (50) vs West Indies, 2019

  • Format: T20I
  • Venue: Ranjiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad, India
  • Opposition: West Indies

Context: Kohli’s highest T20I score. India chases 209 in a T20 with 8 balls to spare. 6 sixes and 6 fours. Destructive.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of West Indies vs India 1st T20I 2019/20 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

23. 107 (126) vs Pakistan, 2015 ODI World Cup

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia

Context: A solid knock. India win against Pakistan via Kohil magic, a theme over the last decade. Better yet, India started the 2015 WC well and went onto play the semi-finals despite dismal preparations.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs Pakistan 4th Match, Pool B 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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24. 122*(105) vs England, 2017

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

Context: Known as the ‘Kedar Jadhav match’ who scored a 120 (76) from #6, Kohli held the innings together. From 53-4, a 200-run partnership followed between the two before Pandya finished it off.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of England vs India 1st ODI 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

25. 123 (111) vs New Zealand, 2014

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: MacLean Park, Napier

Context: Not all matches have a positive ending. Although India lost, Kohli dragged India close. The next best score was 40, and India lost by 24 runs.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of New Zealand vs India 1st ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

26. 107 (114) vs Sri Lanka, 2009 (Bonus)

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India

Context: Things have to begin somewhere, don’t they? Virat’s maiden ODI ton, including a 224-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Rescued India in chase of 316 after they were 23-2 after 3.4 overs. A glimpse of greatness for years ahead.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 4th ODI 2009/10 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

Honorable Mentions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings – Which Knock Missed Out?

  1. 129*(96) vs South Africa, Centurion, 2018 (ODI)
  2. 70*(29) vs West Indies, Mumbai, 2019 (T20I)
  3. 90*(55) vs Australia, Adelaide, 2016 (T20I)
  4. 116 (213) vs Australia, Adelaide, 2012 (Test) – 1st Test Hundred
  5. 123 (95) vs Australia, Ranchi, 2019 (ODI)
  6. 107 (119) vs West Indies, Pune, 2018 (ODI)
  7. 131 (96) vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2017 (ODI)
  8. 140 (107) vs West Indies, Guwahati, 2018 (ODI)
  9. 157*(129) vs West Indies, Vishakapatnam, 2018 (ODI)
  10. 114*(99) vs West Indies, Port of Spain, 2019 (ODI)s

Frequently Asked Questions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Each Format

Other Virat Kohli Content

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I cricket are as follows: 82* (52) vs Pakistan (2022 T20 World Cup), 82*(53) vs Australia (2016 T20 World Cup), 72*(44) (2014 T20 Worl Cup Semi-Final, 89* (47) vs West Indies (2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final), and 49 (51) vs Pakistan (2016 Asia Cup). Virat Kohli flexing his arm

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI cricket are as follows: 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka (2012), 100* (52) vs Australia (2013), 115*(66) vs Australia (2013), 160*(159) vs South Africa (2018), and 183*(146) vs Pakistan (2012).Photo of Virat Kohli celebrating his 133* vs Sri Lanka at Hobart

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test cricket are as follows: 141 vs Australia (2013), 119 vs South Africa (2013), 169 vs Australia (2013), 149 vs England (2018), and 153 vs South Africa (2018).Photo of Virat Kohli raising his bat to Test crowd in England after scoring 149.

Here is some of the other content on Virat Kohli:

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/27/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

2022 T20 World Cup Quickest Preview Ever: One Sentence Preview of all 16 Teams!

2022 T20 World Cup Quick Preview!

Why waste time when there is so much cricket to come? Let’s save all that energy for the World Cup itself!

Here is the Quickest Preview of the 2022 T20 World Cup team-by-team.

1. Afghanistan

No longer minnows, BBL experience of Rashid-Nabi-Qais-Mujeeb, future stars in Farooqi and Gurbaz, and guaranteed 5 games in Group 1, expect them to overthrow one of Australia/England/New Zealand.

2. Australia

Reigning world champions, defeated by England in bilateral series, acquisition of Singaporean finisher Tim David, the Steve Smith issue, Maxwell’s form, Wade’s fireworks, the promise of Cameron Green (and not actually being in the team), can they make it 2 in 2 at home?

3. Bangladesh

Will Bangladesh ever win another T20I? Shakib-Liton key if the Tigers have any hope.

4. England

The return of Alex Hales, golf injury to Bazball’s Bairstow, where does Stokes even fit, finishing trio Brook-Moeen-Livingstone, but will Wood’s pace & the Topley-led bowling hold up?

5. Ireland

Post the Porterfield & O’Brien generations and the dropping of Andy McBrine, onus is on the new generation of Balbirnie-Delany-Tector-Tucker to bring with them new hope—expect them to be contenders to go to the next round & look out for Josh Little.

6. India

New captain, 30+ bilateral games, injuries to Bumrah-Jadeja-Chahar, comeback of a 37-year-old, the 19th over scars, Dravid as coach, Pandya-Surya on fire, is it finally their time to shed the ‘chokers’ of the last decade tag?

7. Namibia

Best names (Pikky Ya France, for example), great jerseys, shrewd captain in Erasmus, and a David Wiese – surely they will repeat the magic of 2021?

8. Netherlands

Can the Dutch captain, brought up in Australia, erase the horror of 2021 with Max O’Dowd and a new generation (plus an everlasting Roelof van der Merwe)?

9. New Zealand

Conway’s consistency, Allen’s aggression, Williamson’s wisdom, flying Phillips, blistering Bracewell, nifty Neesham, the spinners/all-rounders, and with the Boult-Southee-Ferguson-Milne combo – can we ever really count the Kiwis out?

10. Pakistan

Babar-Rizwan, Rizwan-Babar, that’s all Pakistan is these days, aren’t they? Wrong—There’s Rauf, and Naseem, and Shaheen, but it all depends on Nawaz-Shadab, both with the bat and ball.

11. Scotland

Last chance for Scotland’s great generation (Berrington-MacLeod)? Have some internal issues to sort out.

12. South Africa

Killer Miller, mighty Markram, Rabada-Nortje, oh yeah and there is the Temba Bavuma vs Reeza Hendricks thing to sort out, but forget about them all and look out for Tristan Stubbs, it’s Proteas time now.

13. Sri Lanka

Asia Cup champions, modern T20 template, inspirational captain-finisher-allrounder Shanaka, and the brilliance of Bhanuka Rajapaksa – the dark horses of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

14. West Indies

The end of the great generation, Hetmyer misses a flight, Pooran-Lewis-Holder to carry the load, good fast bowling unit, and who in the world is this Yannic Cariah?

15. Zimbabwe

If they want to qualify to the next round, it will happen on the shoulders of Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams, maybe with a little bit of Blessing (Muzarabani).

16. UAE

Participation points? Captaincy change & good show in Asia Cup but will be tough for them to progress to the next round.

Finally here are my predictions and some images from the T20 World Cup media event.

Embed from Getty Images

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© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/14/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Quota System in South African Cricket and Transformation Policy – The Complete Guide: Official Policy, Myths, Stats, and the 2015 World Cup Controversy

The quota system in South African cricket is back in discussion among the cricketing community.

Today, we provide you the COMPLETE GUIDE to South Africa’s transformation policy and answer all your questions.

  • What is official South African cricket quota transformation policy?
  • How does South Africa’s 2022 World Cup squad line up with the quota?
  • What happened in THAT 2015 World Cup semi-final match?
  • Transformation Target Stats, Facts, and Myths
Embed from Getty Images

The Temba Bavuma Question

We are talking about South African’s quota policy since Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s current T20I captain, has been in focus recently.

Things have been downhill for him since his elbow injury earlier in the year. To make matters worse, the T20I captain was not picked up for South Africa’s domestic T20 league.

In his absence, Reeza Hendricks has done a brilliant job at the top with Miller & Maharaj taking captaincy duties.

Now, calls have come for his axe on the eve of the 2022 T20 World Cup following his horrid series against India where he scored 0(4), 0(7), and 0(8) while Hendricks sat on the sidelines. Although he led South Africa courageously in the 2021 T20 World Cup and handled Quinton de Kock during tough times, an average of 23.54 with 116.49 strike rate is way below par for a modern T20 opening batter.

Although Bavuma has rightly faced criticism, there has been lots of slander and accusations that he is only in the XI to fulfill the quota. We will explore this and debunk some myths.

Also Read: Other South African Cricket Articles

  1. Top 10 Richest Cricket Leagues (By Average Salaries). Which Cricket League Pays the Most (2022)? Can You Guess Where SA20 Ranks?
  2. Salary of Cricketers (Men’s) from Each of the 12 Nations (2022)—The Complete Guide
  3. SA20 Auction Big Takeaways: List of Players Sold, Squads, Surprises, Exclusions, and More!
  4. 49 South African Cricketers Who Left Their Country for Kolpak Deals
  5. 19 South African Born Cricketers Who Play for Other Countries: Labuschagne, Neil Wagner,…Can you Guess the Rest?
  6. Top 11 Cricketers Who Retired Too Early – The Lost Generation of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, and Michael Clarke
  7. Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD
  8. Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity, Retires—The Greatest Fast Bowler of Them All

Quota System in South African Cricket: The Complete Guide

*Disclaimer: I am trying to learn about this from an outsider’s point of view. Hence, this research is conducted through official documents from the South African cricket board with the hope of an unbiased analysis.

The Official Transformation Policy Definition

According to the National Pathway Selection Panels, Procedures, and Guidelines document,

“Transformation is defined as a process describing the establishment of a sport system focused on the principles of
Human capital development, equitable resource distribution, elimination of all inequalities, increased access to participation opportunities, skill and capability development at all levels and in all areas of activity, empowerment of the individual, respect for each other, fair and just behavior, innovation to give South Africa a competitive edge in world sport.”

In the SA cricket board’s 2021 Integrated Report, they further elaborate that “Transformation is about improved access, fair opportunity and support for all South Africans, within and beyond the boundaries of the cricket field.”

Key Points on Quota & Selections

The document provides an insight into how transformation targets play an part in South African cricket’s selection. Here is a brief summary with quotes from the official document. Some interesting finds.

  • “It is expected that the selection committee will play its role in ensuring that transformation is aggressively achieved at all levels without compromising the principle of selecting the best team based on current form and the pitch or game conditions.
  • “When selection between two players is debatable and neither is a clear choice (e.g. both have similar track records and ability), where relevant, preference must be given to the player of colour.
  • “In measuring our transformation progress, the panel will be measured on a season average basis rather than on a match-by-match basis.”
  • “Special attention must be given to the development and the creation of opportunities to play black African cricketers at all levels”
  • “We acknowledge that transformation ins not progressing as fast as it could.”
Embed from Getty Images

South African Cricket Transformation Target: The Rules

The targets must be met as per the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) scorecard projections. By the latest transformation targets, on average about 6 players of color, including 2 black African cricketers should be in the playing XI.

Not only that, but the transformation target is also implemented all throughout South Africa’s cricketing system, from age-level groups to senior internationals.

Here is a truncated version of the projections for the men’s cricket team for the next decade.

Quota Projections

Team (Men’s)Forecast December 2022 % Black AfricanForecast December 2026% Black AfricanForecast December 2030 % Black African
Senior International Team24% 28%32%
South Africa A/Emerging/U-1927-29% 32-33%34-35%
SA School & Colts31%35%37%
U-17 National Camp31%35%37&
Team (Men’s)Forecast December 2022 % Generic BlackForecast December 2026% Generic BlackForecast December 2030 % Generic Black
Senior International Team50% 56%60%
South Africa A/Emerging/U-1950-55% 56-60%60-64%
SA School & Colts52%57%62%
U-17 National Camp52%58%62&

So, how does this work?

For South Africa’s senior men team, in 2022, 24% of the players should be Black Africans while 50% overall should be colored.

This means about 2-3 Black African players and 5-6 colored members should be in the XI, while the corresponding figures are 3-4 Black African and 7-8 colored in the squad of 15.

By 2030, the figures will rise to 32% and 60% respectively i.e. the South African XI may need to have an average of 7 colored players (3-4 Black Africans).

Interesting Observations

  1. One thing to note is that consistently in junior level cricket, the transformation target percentages are a lot higher than the international requirement. This definitely sheds a light on the focus of changing the system from the grassroots level and hoping to have an impact in the international level down the road.
  2. The SA20 has no transformation targets (this could be a cause of conflict in the future. If the homegrown South African T20 league does not have transformation requirement since it is in the franchise model, why should the other parts of SA cricket have it? This may have been a factor in no interest for Bavuma in the SA20 auction).

What Happens if Transformation Targets are not Fulfilled by South African Cricket?

According to South African cricket’s Integrated Report 2020/21, here is what happens if guidelines are not followed.

  • Risks: “Non-adherence to CSA undertakings with the Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture on transformation in cricket can lead to a withdrawal of privileges accorded to National Federations.
  • Required Actions to Improve Performance: “Tranche payments linked to performance; CSA monitoring and evaluation to improve access and redress.”
Embed from Getty Images

Quota Statistics at a Glance

To demonstrate how detailed the transformation targets are, here are the results from the 2020/21 selection report statistics.

Women’s Team

The Senior Women had an “on-field Black demographic representation of 48% against CSA target of 50%.” In particular,

Women’s TeamTarget (2018-19)Actual (2018-19)Target (2019-20)Actual (2019-20)
Black African27%26%24%20%
Black54%47%54%47%

Among the 154 selections for the women’s team, the proportions were

  • Women’s ODIs: 45 White, 22 Black African, 8 Colored, 13 Indian
  • Women’s T20Is: 35 White, 21 Black African, 4 Colored, 6 Indian

Men’s Team

The Proteas Men met their Black African player target for EPG 2020 – but did not meet is Black target.

Men’s TeamTarget (2018-19)Actual (2018-19)Target (2019-20)Actual (2019-20)
Black African25%22%22%23%
Black60%49%50%44%

South African Contracted Players

From the 16 nationally contracted players, the proportion is: 8 White, 2 Colored, 4 – Black African, 2 – Indian. 116 selections (62%) of all the 187 selections came from these contracted players. The other 71 selections (38%) came from 16 non-contracted – 10 White, 3 Colored, 3 Black African, 0 Indian. In particular,

  • Men’s Test: 29 White, 11 Black African, 4 Indian, 0 Colored
  • Men’s ODI: 18 White, 11 Black African, 3 Indian, 1 Colored
  • Men’s T20I: 59 White, 24 Black African, 17 Colored, 10 Indian

So Where Does South Africa’s 2022 T20 World Cup Squad Stand?

So let’s get back to the question at the beginning. Where does Temba Bavuma fit in this conversation?

The World Cup squad has 3 Black Africans, 8 White, and 7 Colored players.

  • Black African: Temba Bavuma, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada
  • Colored: Reeza Hendricks, Wayne Parnell
  • Indian: Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi
  • White: Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klassen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen

Can South Africa Afford to Drop Temba Bavuma?

In short, yes…if they play both Lungi Ngidi & Kagiso Rabada.

South Africa’s quota concern for the upcoming world cup is NOT Temba Bavuma. Instead, it may be how to balance the bowlers.

With Quinton de Kock-Rilee Rossouw-Aiden Markram-David Miller-Tristan Stubbs, South Africa have a very stable and explosive core of batters. Since no adjustment can be made in the middle order, SA will have to fit all their colored players in the bowling line up. For example, in the India vs South Africa ODI, they went with a bowling line up Parnell, Maharaj, Rabada, Shamsi, and Ngidi (which is all good for now since they are in decent form).

In conclusion, regardless of SA’s choice to play Bavuma or Hendricks, the quota is not impacted. However, with Parnell, Ngidi, and Rabada almost certainties, Nortje & Jansen might be in the sidelines.

None of this actually matters since the first tenet of the transformation goals is to select the best team on the day and the targets will be calculated on average at the end of the season.

Should South Africa Drop Temba Bavuma?

It is never a good sign to drop a captain on the eve of a World Cup, so Bavuma should still be in the squad for sure. However, it may still be good to give Reeza Hendricks some game time since he was in red-hot form.

It may be worth dropping Bavuma down the order and play him as an insurance policy to stem the flow of wickets in case of a collapse rather than as an opening batter.

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2015 World Cup Semi-Final, Kyle Abbott, & Vernon Philander

The quota system is South African cricket came into focus on March 24, 2015. South Africa crashed out of the World Cup due to Grant Elliot heroics.

Thriller of a game, but so near, yet so far for the Proteas yet again.

In the days to come, news came of the internal politics. Although SA had been fielding up to 5 players of color in the early matches (Amla, Duminy, Philander, Tahir, Behardien). However due to injuries, only 3 players were fielded including in the Quarter Finals, where South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by 9 wickets.

Instead of going with an unchanged XI, Vernon Philander (injured in the prior couple of games) replaced Kyle Abbott, who had a good tournament till that point. Later, it was revealed that the South African administrators called the coach/captain and interfered with the selection process.

This broke the team apart and unraveled the heights of the 2007-2015. Kyle Abbott took a Kolpak deal, while Philander retired early. Philander, himself is quoted that there are no hard feelings between him and Abbott.

“When I go to Durban, I have a beer with Kyle. There are no hard feelings between us two. But the point is: Cricket SA must sort out their stuff. What happened was a knock to both of us.”

Where Does South African Cricket Go from Here?

Kevin Pietersen’s exodus to England had already signaled for things to come due to unofficial quotas in the early days. However, South African cricket’s success had hidden the internal conflicts under the carpet.

The Khaya Zondo case revealed that several black African cricketers were picked, but only to ‘make up the numbers and carry the drinks.’ Michael Holding in his conversation with Makhaya Ntini expressed in the SJN hearings how secluded Ntini felt. Kagiso Rabada has been over bowled and not rested/rotated because he ticks the boxes and is really good.

From Faf du Plessis’ “we don’t see color,’ to AB de Villiers’ captaincy hesitations to the SJN hearings, Black Lives Matters, kneeling, etc., the matter is more complex than it seems from the outside.

Is the Transformation Quota System the way to go for South African cricket?

South Africa is not the only country to combat this issue. In the United States, Affirmative Action & India’s reservations with the Mandal Commission have similarly been implemented and received backlash at some point or time or another.

In my own analysis, I did not like treating human beings as statistics and separating them by categories. I am sure as the years go by the implementation will become less strict as equal opportunities would create more organically grown diverse players.

So, is the quota system the best way to go for South African cricket?

I’m not in the best way to answer that, but in order to reverse the prejudice of centuries of discrimination, systematic and grassroots changes are indeed needed.

What do you think about the quota system in South African cricket?

Sources and Further Reading on Quota System in South African Cricket

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Quota System in South African Cricket

What is the quota system in South African?

As of 2022, 2 players of black African ethnicity and 6 colored players need to be fielded in the XI (on average).

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/07/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).