Van der Dussen urges Proteas to whitewash Sri Lanka

23 March 2019 - 10:57 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Rassie van der Dussen.
Rassie van der Dussen.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Such is the humility of South Africa’s rising batting star Rassie van der Dussen that he doesn’t see himself as a shoo-in for the World Cup in England later in the year.

Over the past few months since his debut against Zimbabwe in October last year‚ the 30-year old Lions player has done more than enough with the bat to be on the plane to the tournament but he insists that nothing is guaranteed in life.

Speaking after another man-of-the-match performance in the 16-run win over Sri Lanka at Centurion on Friday night‚ where he scored his second T20 half-century‚ Van Der Dussen said his mindset has always been never to look too far ahead.

“I don’t think you can ever say that you have sealed a World Cup place. I came into this team not too long ago and I said I will take every game at a time‚ always be at my best and see what happens.

“That is still my mindset and philosophy. I know that there are going to be some selection meetings coming up and I think I have done okay so far but there are never guarantees in life‚” he said‚ adding that he is enjoying the ride with the Proteas.

“You can always do better but I am happy with how it’s gone. As a player you know what you are capable of doing and to show that on the international stage is satisfying.

“I came into this team knowing that I can do it and it was just about making the step up to international cricket. The most gratifying for me is to sit back knowing that I can do it at this level and who knows‚ the sky is the limit.”

Van der Dussen has scored runs with consistency in both the T20s and ODIs and he said it was a result of the hard work at training with his batting coach at the Lions.

“You always try to maintain consistency. I have worked long and hard with my batting coach at the Lions last season‚” he said.

“We sat down and identified areas where I needed to improve and he selflessly threw a lot of balls at me – I don’t even know how many balls he threw at me.

“I have done well for a long stretch now and I keep my approach simple. If you make your training as hard as possible then when you go out to the field there is that feeling that you have been there before.

“I am 30 years old now and it is different to a 20-year-old coming into the team and playing cricket. I know what works for me and where I need to improve.”

The Proteas go into the last T20 against Sri Lanka at Wanderers on Sunday 2-0 up in the series and Van der Dussen said they want to finish the job for a whitewash.

“We said throughout this white ball campaign that we are going to take one game at a time; we know that if we play our best cricket we will be close to coming out on top.

“We played well in the second T20 and we have won the series. In the previous series we were 2-0 up against Pakistan but lost the last one because we were not clinical as we would have liked.

“It is another big game at the Wanderers and hopefully we will give the people what they want.”