Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

No hard feelings, says Van der Dussen, ahead of Windies series

The Proteas will face West Indies in T20 Internationals on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Top-order batter Rassie van der Dussen says he has no resentment towards Proteas team management after missing out on selection for the T20 World Cup, as he prepares to lead the national team in a three-match series against West Indies starting on Thursday night (9pm SA time).

Seven members of the World Cup squad are missing this week, mostly due to Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments, including regular captain Aiden Markram.

In Markram’s absence, Van der Dussen will lead a largely second-string squad in Kingston, but he will return home next week when the majority of the squad move on to New York for their first World Cup match against Sri Lanka in New York on 3 June.

The stand-in skipper said he was entirely focussed on leading the SA side against their hosts over the next few days.

“I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, and I think it’s pretty standard what I’m about as a cricketer,” said Van der Dussen.

“The coach (Rob Walter) has to pick a World Cup squad and there are only 15 guys who can go, so he has to come up with combinations he feels will give us the best chance, and as a greater squad and as a country, that’s what it’s all about.”

‘World-class unit’

Though their hosts are two places below the Proteas in the world rankings, Van der Dussen insisted they were not underestimating the West Indies this week, with the two-time T20 World Cup champions looking to shine in front of their home crowd on the eve of the global championship.

“We know they’re a world-class unit, especially in their own conditions, and the people here in the Caribbean are very passionate about cricket, so we know it’s a tough place to come and play. We’ve seen that before,” Van der Dussen said.

“They’re a very proud team and they look like they know what they’re about and how they want to play, so it’s always a great challenge to come here.

“From our point of view, we’ve won here before and we won the series the last time we were here (in 2021), so we will definitely be going out to try and win again with one eye on the bigger picture of the World Cup.”

After Thursday’s match, the Proteas will face the West Indies in two more T20 Internationals on Saturday and Sunday. All games will be played at Sabina Park in Kingston.