He was similarly impressive the previous Sunfoil Series, scoring 673 runs, with an amazing average of 61.18 during what can only be described as a summer of discontent for all batsmen.
Kyle Abbott reigned supreme and captured 49 wickets. Thirteen of 27 four-day-franchise matches did not reach the final day on wickets conducive to seam movement.
It was no surprise when Van Zyl was included in the South African test squad for the series against Sri Lanka and, subsequently, the one-off test against Zimbabwe in 2014.
Although he did not get the nod for the final eleven, he was given a positive signal by the national selectors: “Keep on performing and as the first-reserve you might get an opportunity if somebody is injured or suffer a crisis of confidence and persistently fails.”
Yet, the danger is that Van Zyl could be pigeon-holed into the category of being a ‘four-day specialist’.
It could be a fatal error to consider Van Zyl a steady left-hander who rotates and accumulates, rather than an attacking player who gets the Cobras off to a rollicking start or bludgeons bowling attacks.
His averages in Momentum One-Day Cup matches suggest otherwise. He scored 341 runs during the 2012/2013-campaign at an average of 34.10 and finished fourth from the top on the list of averages.
Van Zyl improved in the 2013/2014-competition, hitting 343 runs at an average of 42.87 and finishing at the summit of the Cobras-averages.
The average of 36.28 in 84 List A-matches is hardly surprising, and Van Zyl might just underline his growing credentials as a superb player in the shorter formats during the Champions League Twenty20-tournament.
“I have been labelled as a four-day specialist, but I have done very well in the 50-over game,” said Van Zyl.
“When you bat at number three, you sometimes you will walk in and will have the opportunity to almost bat for 50 overs.
“Occasionally, they will include a batsman who averages 30 and has as a strike-rate of 120, which, honestly I don’t always agree with.
The 26-year old showed his mettle for the Cobras on a pre-season tour to Potchefstroom in the shortest format, the T20-matches.
He slammed 66 against North West during the weekend.
On Tuesday, Van Zyl scored a superb 60 to set up an excellent 8-wicket win for the Cobras at the so-called bull ring or Bidvest Wanderers against the bizhub Highveld Lions.
“I feel privilege to have been included in the Cobras Champions League team. It presents me with an opportunity to take my game to the next level, especially if I get a chance against some of the greatest players on the globe,” added Van Zyl.