Sport / Cricket

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
10 Jan 2019
10:48 am

Rassie’s rise continues

Heinz Schenk

The Highveld Lions star profits from the Proteas' willingness to still experiment before the World Cup.

Rassie van der Dussen of the Proteas during the1st KFC T20 Intentional match between South Africa and Zimbabwe at Buffalo Park on October 09, 2018 in East London, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

In an ideal world, Proteas coach Ottis Gibson would tell you the upcoming one-day series against Pakistan should be all about fine-tuning.

It would all about giving your preferred squad of 15 men as much game-time as possible.

Yet in reality, those careful plans are almost always disrupted in some way.

And that will have a man like Rassie van der Dussen smiling broadly.

The 29-year-old Highveld Lions star continued his rise to prominence by being included as the only new cap for the series.

“Rassie has been a player who’s been knocking on the door in all formats,” said national selection convener Linda Zondi.

Van der Dussen has indeed become far more prominent since regularly being drafted for overseas T20 leagues and impressed in the series against Zimbabwe with a 50 on debut.

He was also the leading run-scorer in the Mzansi Super League.

Van der Dussen is most likely to compete with franchise teammate Reeza Hendricks in the No 3 position.

But the selectors did make a point of only selecting a squad for the first two matches, perhaps pointing to a bit more experimentation and then possibly some stability.

“Those players who went to Australia and have not been selected for the first two matches – Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram and Chris Morris – are by no means out of the picture and they may well get further opportunities in the second half of the series,” said Zondi.

Dane Paterson has also been recalled following Lungi Ngidi’s untimely knee injury late last year.

Proteas squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.

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