Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
5 Jan 2022
11:01 am

Marco Jansen: Five things to know about the left-arm quick

Ross Roche

South Africa's latest fast bowling sensation has made a meteoric rise in local cricket.

South Africa's Marco Jansen has made a big impact since coming into the Proteas Test team. Picture: Christiaan Kotze / AFP

South Africa’s newest bowling sensation Marco Jansen has enjoyed a successful start to his Test career, claiming several wickets in the on-going series against India.

Here are five things you need to know about him.

First Proteas player to be born in the 2000s

Marco Jansen is currently the youngest member of the Proteas squad at 21-years-old and when he made his Test debut in the first Test against India in Centurion last week he became the first Proteas Test player to have been born in this century, having been born on 1 May 2000 in Klerksdorp.

He has an identical twin

Marco has an identical twin brother named Duan who plays franchise cricket for the North West Dragons. The brothers both attended Potchefstroom Gymnasium, represented North West at the Khaya Majola Week and both made their senior debuts for North West.

They are both also left-arm quick, right-handed batting all-rounders. At the age of 17 they were both picked to bowl in the nets to the touring Indian side, with Marco then going on to make his debut against them years later.

Is reportedly the tallest ever Proteas player

Standing at a reported 2.06m Jansen is the tallest player to represent the Proteas. He measures in as one of the tallest players to have played international cricket, with the record belonging to former Pakistan left-arm quick Mohammad Irfan who measured in at a towering 2.15m.

Vintcent van der Bijl was previously seen as the tallest player in SA cricket having measured in at a reported 2.02m, but he never played recognised Test cricket as he played during SA’s isolation years.

Meteoric rise in his fledgling career

In December 2018 Jansen was playing U19 Khaya Majola Week cricket for North West and in December three years later made his Test debut against India in Centurion. Following his Khaya Majola stint Jansen went on to play for the SA U19s, SA Emerging team, the Knights, Warriors and was picked by the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

He most recently received a call-up to the Proteas squad that toured Pakistan but didn’t play, following which he featured for the SA A side against India A, before making his Test debut and then receiving his maiden ODI call-up where he is likely to make his debut against India as well.

He is a handy batsman

Jansen was seen more as a batsman during his schooling career, but has emerged as a frontline bowler in his fledgling senior career. In just 20 first class games he has already racked up five half centuries, including a highest score of 87, while his batting was on full show against India A in December when he scored an unbeaten 70 in the first innings of the second four day match.