Home Sport Cricket What more does Reeza Hendricks have to do to impress the selectors?

What more does Reeza Hendricks have to do to impress the selectors?

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Despite now having only scored two scores under 40 in his last 12 batting innings – including seven fifties – Hendricks was left out of the starting team at last year’s T20 showpiece in Australia.

Master Blaster: South Africa’s Reeza Hendricks in action during the second T20 International against India at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, December 12 2023. Picture: REUTERS, Rogan Ward

THE PROTEAS will be out to wrap up the T20 Freedom Series with a win against India at the Wanderers on Thursday at 5pm.

Leading 1-0 heading into the final match of the three-match series, opener Reeza Hendricks will once again be looking to put up his hand for inclusion in the “real” starting XI when all the big guns such as Temba Bavuma, who is being rested, and Quinton de Kock, who is playing in Australia’s Big Bash currently, are back.

As they gear up to next year’s T20 World Cup, Hendricks will be fighting those two for a spot at the top of South Africa’s batting order.

On Tuesday, Hendricks again proved his pedigree. Due to rain, only 34.3 overs were bowled at St George’s Park and for the most part of those overs, South Africa were behind the eight ball as the Indian team managed to stay ahead of the game having set 187/7, which was revised to a target of 152 in 15 overs through the DLS Method.

Hendricks (49 off 27) and captain Aiden Markram (30 off 17) struck 12 boundaries and two maximums between them, and put together the only 50-plus partnership in South Africa’s batting innings.

Despite now having only scored two scores under 40 in his last 12 batting innings – including seven fifties – Hendricks was left out of the starting team at last year’s T20 showpiece in Australia.

He again had to watch from the sidelines at the 50-over World Cup in India recently where he scored 97 runs in the two matches he played in the absence of Bavuma, who appeared to be out of touch again.

After steering SA to victory with his 49 runs off 27 balls in the second T20I against India on Tuesday, Hendricks was asked about having to sit and wait for his opportunities, despite being in such fine form.

He answers: “The big thing is to control what I can and try to be ready when the opportunity does come. I managed to get an opportunity again [in the T20s] and when it comes, I try to perform to the best of my ability…”

Meanwhile, another player who shone in the second match after the first one in Durban had rained out is spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who says of Thursday’s match: “We have an opportunity to win the series, which we would dearly love to do. That obviously gives confidence going forward [and into next year’s T20 World Cup]…”

On Tuesday, Shamsi, for his part, picked up where he left off in the World Cup semi-final, where he had Australia in a spin. The leg-spinner put in a sparkling performance of 1/18 in his four-over spell, and was the only bowler in the Proteas attack who squeezed the Indian batters.

Dudley Carstens and Ongama Gcwabe

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