Proteas pace bowler Lizaad Williams provided some insight on Tuesday into how difficult it has been for all the new players included for the series against Pakistan to step up to the plate when he said that he felt like “a toddler going into primary school”.
Williams has been one of three debutants during the T20 series, while half-a-dozen fringe players have also been pressed into action in the two formats to cover for players who have left for the IPL and those who are injured.
While the ODI series was lost 2-1, all three games were close, and the T20 series is level at 1-1 following South Africa’s overwhelming victory in the second match, heading into the third game at Centurion on Wednesday.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience and I’m really honoured to represent my country at the highest level, and being able to contribute in the second game after the first match did not go to plan,” Williams said on Tuesday.
“But there are still two big games coming up. And I am still trying to figure out the intensity of international cricket, I’m still very much in a learning phase.
“I feel like a toddler going into primary school, I’m just observing everything and trying to take it all in. The difference in intensity is the biggest thing, probably the biggest lesson that the margin for error is much smaller. The batsmen don’t give their wickets away easily, they grind you out. So at training you have to try and match that intensity.”
The Proteas bowling was outstanding in the second T20 as they restricted Pakistan to 140 for nine, which the home side chased down in the 14th over with six wickets in hand. Williams said the mental side of the bowlers’ game was much stronger, giving them a template for what to do in Wednesday’s crucial game.
“The biggest thing was the clarity in your mind when you go up to bowl,” Williams said. “You have to commit 100% to the delivery and not think too far ahead about what the end result will be. In the first game I got caught up a bit in what the end result would be, but you should just be thinking about executing to the best of your ability.”