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Well-deserved reward for Rassie

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Handing the 30-year-old Lions batsman a national contract is among the most obvious moves the federation could have made.

Rassie van der Dussen. Picture: BackpagePix

In the least surprising move following the World Cup, Cricket South Africa yesterday made Rassie van der Dussen the newest holder of a national contract.

Amidst all the controversy and radical changes that have been announced around the Proteas recently, handing the 30-year-old Lions batsman a national contract is among the most obvious moves the federation could have made.

Van der Dussen has taken to international cricket like the proverbial duck to water, at ease in the middle order and able to transfer his excellent domestic form, which has seen him top the scoring charts for the Lions for two years prior to his elevation to international level, to the highest level.

Van der Dussen made a half-century on his international debut against Zimbabwe in a T20 Match in East London last October and has answered every single challenge since.

In his first One-Day International he scored 93 against Pakistan and then ably filled the gaping hole left by AB de Villiers’ retirement. While not as flamboyant as De Villiers (not many are), Van der Dussen was reliable, thrived under pressure and was able to accelerate his scoring at the right moment in the innings.

While many struggled under the spotlight in the World Cup, Van der Dussen, maintained his composure, finishing as South Africa’s second highest run-scorer with 311 runs, with three half-centuries.

The next step will be breaking into the Test team, something Van der Dussen will hear today when Cricket SA names the squads for the T20 and Test series’s in India.

Yesterday CSA named a 15-player group to attend what has become an annual spin camp India. The group is made up of eight batsmen, including Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma, who will both be captaining SA A teams, which will tour India later this month.

The spinning portion of the group includes Cape Cobras captain, Dane Piedt, the top wicket-taker in last season’s four-day series and the Lions’ Bjorn Fortuin, the Player of the tournament in the T20 Challenge.

The spin camp will take place in Bengaluru from August 17 to 23. The SA A one-day side play the first of their five matches against their Indian counterparts on August 29.

The first of two four-day matches between India A and SA starts on September 10.