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Dwaine Pretorius has a few tricks up his sleeve for series opener against India

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South Africa’s designated death bowler, Dwaine Pretorius, is looking forward to the upcoming T20i series against India.

South African fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius celebrates a wicket
FILE – South African fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius celebrates a wicket. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town — Dwaine Pretorius is working “on a few different plans and strategies” ahead of the upcoming five-match T20I series against India but is not prepared to show his hand just yet.

South Africa’s designated death bowler was clinically efficient at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last November utilising a variety of slower balls and sticking to a line wide outside of the stump.

These tactics forced opposition batters to look for boundaries primarily on the off-side, but with a well set field it proved hugely effective with Pretorius picking up nine wickets in South Africa’s five matches. Even more important to his team’s cause, he conceded less than seven runs to the over.

These performances enabled Pretorius to fulfil a career “bucket-list” goal when he was picked up by the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League auction earlier this year.

Unfortunately for the Super Kings and Pretorius, the season did not go quite as planned with the all-rounder averaging 35 runs per wicket and conceding 10 runs to the over with the batters seemingly having worked out his method.

“I am very glad that I got the opportunity to play in the IPL and then also to play for CSK who are one of the most successful franchises ever. It was a great experience, really enjoyed every moment of it,” Pretorius told the media ahead of the series opener in Delhi on Thursday.

“I am working on a few different plans and strategies. But I also don’t want to give away too much information at the start of the series.”

Nicknamed “a scholar of the game” by his South African teammates for his meticulous work ethic, Pretorius will no doubt be going through his new drills along with bowling coach Charl Langeveldt in trying to formulate a plan to contain the likes of Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik.

Pretorius will certainly take some of the lessons learnt from the IPL into these discussions, especially having shared a dressingroom with renowned former Indian captain MS Dhoni.

“Chennai is a very much performance-based set up where you get a lot of responsibility to prepare yourself as a player. You get a lot of responsibility yourself as a player, to prepare the way you want to, and come up with plans that you believe will work and then making sure you actually execute your plans,” he said.

South Africa have loaded their squad with seam bowling all-round options for this series with veteran Wayne Parnell and youngster Marco Jansen pushing Pretorius for a place in the starting XI in the build-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Both have the advantage over Pretorius of being left-handed which would add a great deal of variety to the South African attack, although they both primarily prefer bowling with the new ball upfront rather than at the death.

“I think strong performances from any one of the players in this series can go really far to secure themselves a spot in the World Cup team,” Pretorius said.

@ZaahierAdams

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