Keshav Maharaj Career

image-lqdr1r31Keshav Maharaj during SA tour of India in 2022 (BCCI)

South African spinner and all-round apparent Keshav Maharaj swiftly made his mark in international cricket, heralding his arrival with an emphatic Test series winning performance in Australia. Although he faced a gradual path for securing his spot in ODIs and T20Is, Maharaj instantly emerged as one of the pivotal forces of South Africa’s starting Test XI following his debut.

Keshav Maharaj's Early career

At a tender age of 16, Keshav Maharaj made his first-class debut for KwaZulu-Natal during the 2006 SAA Provincial Challenge match against Kei. The left-arm spinner made instant impact for his side as he returned with match-winning figures of 5-100 from 30 overs.

Maharaj’s splendid first-class run elevated him to team’s white-ball division for the Dolphins during South Africa’s 2009-10 domestic season. The cricketer also became a part of South Africa A’s travelling party to Bangladesh in 2010 for two four-day matches, where he impressed one-and-all with his 13-wicket series haul.

His first-class and overall domestic success for KwaZulu-Natal and the Dolphins paved way for his international call-up, and he eventually earned his maiden Test cap during South Africa’s three-match Test tour of Australia in December 2016, i.e., after a decade of making his competitive debut.

Keshav Maharaj's Test career

From his international debut in November 2016 till December 2023, Keshav Maharaj has featured in 49 Test matches for South Africa. The KwaZulu-Natal alumni has so far claimed over 150 wickets at an impressive average of less than 32, with nine five-wicket hauls to his name. Maharaj also has a 10-wicket match-haul in his Test credit, as he picked up figures of 12-283 against Sri Lanka in Colombo, 2018.

Apart from mastering the art of spin bowling, the Proteas star has also proven himself to be a useful commodity with the bat lower down the order for his country. The right-handed batsman has already scored some handy runs on countless occasions, and currently has five Test match half-centuries in his profile to show for.

image-lsh81xtpKeshav Maharaj celebrating his first Test wicket on debut (

Keshav Maharaj earned his maiden Test cap at the WACA in Perth in November 2016 during South Africa’s three-match tour of Australia. The cricketer scored handy runs with the bat in both innings of the match, including a 34-ball 41* while batting at number nine in the second to stretch his side’s score to 540-8d.

Maharaj also ensnared four victims across both innings, including the prized scalp of Steve Smith as the Proteas romped home to a 177-run victory. The win set up South Africa’s historic 2-1 triumph to mark their third successive Test series victory on Australian shores.

Keshav Maharaj emerged as South Africa’s solitary beacon of brilliance in their torrid two-match Test trip to Sri Lanka in July 2018. After picking up four Sri Lankan wickets in the series opener at Galle, the spinner scythed through hosts’ entire batting line-up in the first innings of the subsequent decider at Colombo.

Maharaj toiled away for 41.1 out of the 104 overs to claim nine of the 10 Sri Lankan wickets on offer to finish with career-best figures of 9-129. His astounding spell also turned out to be the best Test figures by any South African since their re-admission to the format.

Unfortunately for the cricketer, South Africa lost the Test match by 199 runs to concede their two-match series by a 0-2 margin to Sri Lanka.

Keshav Maharaj's ODI career

Keshav Maharaj has turned up 43 times for South Africa in ODIs since making his format debut in 2017. He played 10 of those matches during the high-octane 2023 World Cup in India. Here is a detailed analysis of his overall bowling stats in 50-overs internationals.

Keshav Maharaj ODI Debut

Keshav Maharaj made his ODI debut against England at Southampton in May 2017, and was included in South Africa’s 15-player squad for the subsequent 2017 Champions Trophy. The left-arm spinner initially blew hot and cold in the format, considering it took him a while to warrant a permanent spot in his country’s starting XI. After being overlooked from South Africa’s 2019 World Cup squad, the cricketer found his name as one of the travellers to India for the 2023 World Cup.

In his maiden ODI World Cup appearance, Maharaj claimed 15 wickets across 10 games to emerge as South Africa’s third-most successful bowler of the competition behind young pacemen Gerald Coetzee and Marco Jansen. He also kept composure to score some tense runs with the bat against Pakistan to seal a one-wicket win for his country in Chennai.

Keshav Maharaj's T20I Career

Keshav Maharaja was fast-tracked into South Africa’s T20I setup by the selection committee just a month prior to the commencement of the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE. Impressing in his maiden three-match assignment in Sri Lanka with a 3-0 series-winning performance, Maharaj found himself in South Africa’s playing XI in nine of their 10 fixtures across the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups in UAE and Australia respectively.

Overall, the left-arm spinner has played 27 matches for his country, with his latest set of fixtures being South Africa’s three home match against India in December 2023. 

Keshav Maharaj SA20 Career

Prior to the commencement of the inaugural season of SA20, Keshav Maharaj was roped in by the Durban’s Super Giants franchise at the SA20 2023 auction, where he was clubbed alongside fellow nationals Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Abbott and captain Quinton de Kock.

The spin veteran ended up playing each of the tournament’s 10 league fixtures, only to return with a below-par seasonal haul for his side. Maharaj not only failed to claim wickets but was also unsuccessful in containing the opposition’s runs as he maintained an expensive economy rate of nearly eight-runs-per-over.

A South African heavyweight at this point, Keshav Maharaj managed to secure only four wickets from his end throughout his 10-match run, as the Durban’s Super Giants franchise finished at number five on the SA20 2023 six-team points table.

In a bid to improve Durban’s Super Giants fortunes, the franchise and the team management announced Maharaj as their new skipper for the SA20 2024 season, thus replacing Quinton de Kock for the high-profile role. As the 33-year-old embraces himself in his newfound leadership stint.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Keshav Maharaj Career

Q: What year did Keshav Maharaj made his international debut for South Africa?

A: Keshav Maharaj made his international debut for South Africa through a Test match against Australia at Perth’s WACA Stadium on November 3, 2016. Maharaj celebrated the occasion with four wickets and some handy runs at the death to star in South Africa’s 177-run victory.

Q: How many ODI World Cups has Keshav Maharaj participated in?

A: Keshav Maharaj was selected in South Africa’s squad for the 2023 World Cup in India. Previously, he was overlooked from team’s composition for the 2019 World Cup in England, despite making his format debut back in May 2017.

Q: Has Keshav Maharaj ever played County cricket in England?

A: Yes. Keshav Maharaj has played County Championship matches for Lancashire in 2018, as well as five matches for Yorkshire during the 2019 English domestic season. He was slated to turn up for Middlesex in 2023 but was forced to withdraw owing to his injury.

Q: Which team does Keshav Maharaj play for in SA20?

A: Keshav Maharaj played for Durban’s Super Giants in the inaugural edition of SA20 played out in January and February 2023.

Q: Who will captain Durban’s Super Giants in SA20 2024?

A: Keshav Maharaj will be leading the Durban’s Super Giants franchise at the SA20 2024 season by replacing Quinton de Kock.