Having been in the national team for a little over two years, many will be starting to wonder when Rassie van der Dussen will break his century duck for the Proteas.
JOHANNESBURG – While not yet in the same realm as ‘when will Kallis get a double-hundred,’ Rassie van der Dussen is in the bracket now where some are starting to wonder when he’ll hit the three figure mark in Proteas colours.
Van der Dussen will play his 47th international match in the second Test against Pakistan starting in Rawalpindi on Thursday, but has yet to make a century in a little more than two years in Proteas colours.
Having flirted with 200 on a number of occasions, Jacques Kallis eventually reached that landmark in his 145th Test match. It’s unlikely it’ll take Van der Dussen that long to get a hundred, but he’d like to get that monkey off his back sooner rather than later.
The soon to be 32-year-old right hander has quickly established himself as an important cog in the batting unit, filling the No.3 spot in the Test team, while he shifts around in the limited overs squad although for the most part occupies a position in the middle order.
He’s gone past 90 three times across the ODI and Test formats, with a highest score of 98 against England in the fourth Test at the Wanderers last season his highest international score.
“I do think about it. I’m feeling good, I’m batting well, ja lets hope it comes,” Van der Dussen said from Rawalpindi on Monday.
“In a sense, I’m a believer in ‘what will happen will happen’. If I keep putting myself in those situations where I get close, then I back myself to get there. You can’t go out on a certain day and say: ‘I’m going to score a hundred.’ You’ve got to be consistent in your process every ball, your mental discipline, and give yourself the best chance to succeed every ball.”
Van der Dussen’s second innings 64 was one of the relative successes in the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi. South Africa lost that Test by seven wickets, mainly because they failed to take advantage of good batting conditions on the first day after winning the toss.
In the second innings, Van der Dussen and Aiden Markram added 127 runs for the second wicket, indicating that they had learned from the errors of the first innings although, once Van der Dussen was out late on the third day, the Proteas would suffer yet another of what have become all too familiar batting collapses.
“It sort of comes down to the fundamentals of building an innings and giving yourself the best chance during those first 20 to 30 balls (that you face). It’s difficult to pinpoint,” van der Dussen said of the batting collapses that happened again in both innings of the Karachi Test.
“There’s a few aspects of our batting that we weren’t happy with and we can improve by a whole lot. It’s something we’ve got to rectify. In terms of pinpointing why we have some collapse, maybe you can put it down to a little bit of indecision from the new guys, run outs like in the first Tests shouldn’t happen … it’s a conglomerate of different circumstances. I don’t think there’s one answer. When you go in you have to take responsibility to give yourself the best chance to play a long innings.”
As for that international hundred, all Van der Dussen said he can do is work hard ahead of the next Test. “I can’t say it will come in this game or the next one, there are no guarantees in life or cricket. I’ll keep putting in the work to give myself the best chance.”