The thing is, Roelof the man shouldn't be on a cricket field. He looks as though he belongs in Santa's workshop, the evil elf who wrings chicken necks for fun. He's similar in stature to South Africa's other new kid on the international stage (although the latter still hasn't played internationally for SA itself), Morne van Wyk. What is it with saffas and naming their children terrible names like 'Morne'?
Morne is more of a kind half-ogre. Roelof is the real one to watch out for. He'll creep up behind you and gut you before you can say "mercy".
Roelof the player was in the Under-19 World Cup team for South Africa. Roelof the man spent the next two years lazing around in front of the telly downing beers. Roelof the player burst back onto the circuit and within the next 3 years, found himself playing against Australia in an ODI. Roelof the man spent those 3 years ensuring his face remained a similarly square shape, perfecting his poker face for the world of cricket.
Roelof the player's nickname is Bulldog. Roelof the man's nickname is I'mgonnagetcha.
Roelof can der Merwe can seriously bat, and seriously bowl. It's not that he's the greatest player in the world, but he can perform, and he's done it countless times. It does help a little if you debut against a team which is, how do I put it, utterly shit at playing spin, but there's no denying he's a top all-rounder.
But what am I doing, I'm talking about Roelof the player and not the man. Come Christmas season, Roelof will be heading back north for another month of sabotaging presents and killing fellow elves as he sets out to prove that not all elves are nice people.
"Hello. I'd just like to let you know, I am going to kill you."