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Maharaj confident ahead of ODI series


Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj says he is eager to make a significant impact in white ball cricket.

Keshav Maharaj. File Image

PROTEAS spinner Keshav Maharaj says he is eager to make a significant impact in white ball cricket.

The Dolphins bowler is in the Proteas squad which will face Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series, starting on July 29 at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium and wrapping up on August 12 in Colombo.

The two nations will, however, first battle it out in a two-match Test series, with the first game to be played at Galle on July 12.

With selectors resting the incumbent spinner Imran Tahir, they opted for Maharaj and Titans’ spin sensation Tabraiz Shamsi in the ODI set-up to fill Tahir’s boots.

The series in Sri Lanka is being considered part of the preparations for the World Cup that takes place in England next year.

Maharaj said he wants to give it his best shot in Sri Lanka.

“It is every youngster’s dream to play in the World Cup. I would love to play all three formats for my country,” he said.

“I want to be playing cricket for my country and to represent it with pride and honour. Every game is an opportunity for you to display your capabilities and skills.

“I’m really looking forward to the series and I’m excited,” Maharaj said with a smile.

Maharaj has already made two appearances for the Proteas in ODI’s, and is already one of the important cogs in the Proteas potent attack in the Test set-up, having taken 74 wickets in 20 matches in the long format.

“I’m still trying to find my feet in international cricket but I put a lot of pressure on myself to contribute with the bat,” he said. “ I do want to be an all-rounder. I don’t want to be only the bowler who can just land the ball there and there and that’s it. I want to be consistent with my batting as well,” he added.

The Proteas will be looking to bounce back following a humiliating 5-1 series defeat to India at home in an ODI series last summer.

“We back our preparations. It is important to stay consistent. We want to be the best team in all formats,” the ambitious Maharaj explained.

The conditions in Sri Lanka are expected to be spin-friendly but Maharaj doesn’t want to focus too much on that.

“Whether the conditions will be spinning or not I will make sure that I put (the ball) in the right areas,” Maharaj said.