With a first-class average of 40.27, it can be argued that Puttick would have been the perfect Protea’s opening partner for Graeme Smith during the mid-2000s.
Smith regularly changed batting partners at the top of the order during a phase in which South Africa were a commanding force in 50 overs cricket but Puttick just got one international opportunity during his entire career which came during an ODI against New Zealand in October 2005.
Not many will dispute the fact that the South African national cricket team is one of the hardest to get into. There are many notable players who have graced the South African domestic cricket scene who were unlucky to get insufficient opportunities for the Proteas and in some cases even none at all.
Many of these men would have easily played regular cricket at the highest level had they been born outside the shores of South Africa.
Some well-known former South African domestic cricketers have even turned to other nations in order to play international cricket. Davy Jacobs who served the Warriors for many years is now captaining Canada in international cricket.
Roelof Van Der Merwe who was part of the Protea’s squad which played during the ICC World T20 tournament in 2009 now plays international cricket for his adopted nation of the Netherlands.
There is little doubting that Van Wyk is a legend of South African franchise cricket. Even though he is 40-years-old, he has proven that he is an evergreen player as he starred for the Dolphins during their recent CSA T20 challenge campaign.
Van Wyk did get 17 ODI opportunities for the Proteas and scored four fifties during that time. The highlight of his time in a Proteas jersey came during a T20 clash against the West Indies in January 2015 when has smashed 114 from just 70 deliveries.
He just went on to make just 8 T20I appearances and unfortunately, his century came when he was already 36-years-old. If he were a few years younger, it is likely that that knock would have presented him with more opportunities.
Both Jacobs and Van Wyk were unlucky to have had to play at a time during which Mark Boucher made the wicket-keeper position for the Proteas his own and Ab de Villiers was considered as his backup.
De Villiers was initially called up to the Proteas test squad to play against England as a 20-year-old in 2004 when Boucher was dropped for a brief period but was made a specialist batsman after the former managed to work his way back into the side.
29-year-old Second, who is also a wicketkeeper, boasts a first-class average of 45.05 which is good enough to win selection to most test playing nations. India’s second-choice wicketkeeper for the World Cup Dinesh Karthik, by contrast, boasts a first-class average of 40.76.
However, with the talented duo of Sinethemba Qeshile and Kyle Verreyne set to break into the South African side after the World Cup, it remains to be seen if he will ever get his chance.