'Pumi' heading for the fast lane
South African cricket has a rich history of producing quality fast bowlers, and is well known for the competitiveness of its seamers in domestic competitions.
The trend still continues, with up-and-coming bowlers hanging on the fringes and knocking on the door of the national team.
The future remains bright for South African cricket when it comes to attack bowlers, with the likes of Wayne Parnell still being 22 and future prospect Marchant de Lange only 21.
South Africa A coach Vincent Barnes believes the country will never have a shortage of pace bowlers.
"Many years ago, when Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald's partnership was nearing its end, people were worried there would no replacements. Then Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel came on to the scene," said Barnes.
"We now have [Lonwabo] Tsotsobe, Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander. And there's also Pumelela Matshikwe and Marchant de Lange. The country is not as bare in terms of talent filtering through as some may believe."
Lions pace bowler Matshikwe is a bit older at 27. But he has finally got his chance at first-class level in South African cricket.
The Johannesburg-born cricketer only made his first-class debut two years ago, in a match between Gauteng and Griquas, and has not looked back since.
"I would say I'm a late bloomer because my cricket only took off after finishing my studies at varsity (Wits University). I got my break while at varsity, when I was selected for the South African Universities side in 2008-2009," he said.
"Since then it has been a gradual process getting to where I am now. I never really entertained the thought of taking cricket as a career until I got invited to the national academy side in 2009," said Matshikwe.
Last year the former St Davids Marist College pupil received the domestic newcomer of the year award, and has continued to work hard this season, taking 19 wickets in only three matches in the Supersport Series - second to the Knight's Johan van der Wath, who leads the standings with a haul of 21.
"Pumi", as he is known to his teammates, has been rewarded for his efforts by being included in the South African A squad taking on Australia in Potchefstroom ahead of the first test match against the Proteas next week.
Even though he was 12th man, he was happy with his call-up and sees it as being a step closer to national selection.
Despite his age and competing with youngsters such as De Lange, Matshikwe believes he still stands a chance of playing for the senior national side in the near future.
"I'd like to believe I'm putting my hand up for consideration for the national team.
"That has been my aim from the beginning of the season - to make an impression and catch the selectors' eye," he said.