The South Australia Redbacks struck gold when they landed the signature of South African limited-overs captain Johan Botha. The fiery off-spinner has been an instant success on the Australian domestic scene in all three forms of the game.
The South African has enjoyed most of his success in the shorter forms of the game; especially in the 50 over arena. He made his international debut in 2005 against India, where he picked up the wicket of big-hitting Irfan Pathan.
Australians first caught a glimpse of Botha in 2006 during the 3rd Test at the SCG. Botha picked up two wickets for the match, including Mike Hussey.
One week later, he made his international T20 debut at the Gabba, where he removed Ricky Ponting. Not a bad way to introduce yourself to Australia.
In 2010, Botha returned to Australia to once again torment the ODI side. His ability to choke the run rate during the middle overs was a weapon the home side couldn’t counter.
Botha has probably been a victim of the South African spinning curse, with no tweaker able to steadily hold down the spot for more than a year or two.
What defines him is his impeccable line and length, and subtle changes in pace. His economy rate in ODI cricket is 4.57, while he concedes under 6.5 runs an over in T20 internationals.
The Redbacks were fortunate enough to lure Botha over to Adelaide in the 2011/12 season. His all-round skills were apparent in the first instalment of the BBL, with Botha taking five wickets at 6.91 an over, and scoring 75 runs with a strike rate of 144.
In BBL 02, Botha was even more effective. He again took five wickets, but this time it was his batting that was the real highlight. He showed a penchant for the reverse sweep, and finished with 90 runs at an average of 45.
His fielding throughout both tournaments has been a real asset, with Botha producing seven run outs in twelve appearance, including a tournament high 4 in 2012/13.
His form in the Ryobi Cup has been nothing short of inspirational. He tormented the Tigers in late 2012, scoring 55* and backing it up with 4/29. He scored 53 against the Blues, while he has constantly picked up wickets at crucial times.
In the penultimate Bupa Sheffield Shield match, Botha scored 57 runs for the match, and finished with game figures of 8/119.
More recently, he has been in Delhi for the IPL. He has taken five wickets in six matches for the Daredevils, including 2/11 against the Sunrisers.