“The intensity in the training and everything around that, the knowledge in the squad, it’s a good environment to be in”
THE Proteas may have arrived a week after the official start of the Mzansi Super League but they have certainly made a massive impact on the tournament since.
None bigger than Reeza Hendricks, of course. The Jozi Stars opener has lit up each venue that he’s performed at since returning from national duty in Australia.
After an inauspicious MSL T20 debut when he was dismissed for a duck, Hendricks has put together scores of 55, 104*, 108* and 79 which has catapulted him to the top of the run-scoring charts.
Having spent the best part of the last year in the Proteas set-up, the 29-year-old had credited his recent good form on his involvement with coach Ottis Gibson and company.
“The intensity in the training and everything around that, the knowledge in the squad, it’s a good environment to be in,” he said.
“Coming back here, that obviously gave me a great deal of confidence. What I’ve learnt, I can try and execute here, and fortunately it’s been working and it’s been coming off.
“I am grateful for how it’s going. I must admit it has been overwhelming over the last few days, but I have to refocus on the next game and put this behind me and try to contribute to the next game.”
Cape Town Blitz captain Farhaan Behardien only had high praise for Hendricks.
“He batted really well,” Behardien said after Hendricks’ well-paced 79 that helped set up the Stars’ 50-run demolition of the Blitz at Newlands on Tuesday night.
“His strike rate wasn’t as high in the beginning but he catches up. And he’s in the form of his life. It’s like trying to stop a guy like AB (de Villiers) in form. It’s his time at the moment.
“We couldn’t combat him. It’s tough to stop him, so hopefully if we do come up against him again in a knockout or the final, we’ll try to have some better plans.”
The timing of Hendricks’ hot streak could not be better either. The Proteas only have 10 ODIs before next year’s World Cup in England, with Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the country over the summer.
Does Hendricks believe he has done enough to warrant a place in the 15-man World Cup squad?
“I don’t think so, to be honest,” he said. “This is obviously a different format. I’d love to think it has some impact towards it, but it’s a different format. I am taking it as it comes.”