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Top 5 No. 3 South African batsmen of all time

S Samaddar
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33.33K   //    19 Dec 2017, 11:22 IST

Hansie Cronje of South Africa
Although he ended his career in disgrace, Hansie Cronje is still one of the greatest No. 3s

The number 3 position is perhaps the most important batting slot for any Test team and more often than not, one of the best batsmen in a side bats in that position.

The number 3 needs to have the technical skill to be able to play against the new ball since a wicket might fall quite early and on the other hand, he must also have the wherewithal to drive home the advantage at the back of a substantial opening partnership. South Africa has produced some of the world's leading batsmen in its cricketing history and among them, many have gone on to become excellent number 3 batsmen.

Due to their absence in the game for a period, some of them might not have played a huge number of times at number 3, but still, make the cut for being among the nation's finest. Here is a look at 5 of the best South African number 3s.

5 Hansie Cronje

Former South African captain Hansie Cronje might have left the game in disgrace in 2000 but from 1992 to 1996, he was the team's number 3 and is still posthumously considered one of the best players to have played in that position for South Africa. Cronje wasn't the most gifted batsman around but he was gritty and had the determination necessary to survive at the position.

In addition to that, he was good against fast bowling and one of the best players of spin in the South African side. Cronje batted at number 3 for 21 Test matches and scored 3 centuries along with 3 half-centuries.

In fact, he reeled off his best score of 135 (at number 3) when he batted at the position for the first time against India at Port Elizabeth in 1992. Another superb innings of 122 came against Australia at Johannesburg against Australia. Cronje averaged 37.10 at number 3 and gave up the position in 1996. 

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