The next logical step, then, as he joined the squad to face Pakistan in five one-day international, is to show that mettle at the highest level
They say that life begins at 30, and one particular player in the Proteas squad is hoping that adage holds true.
For Highveld Lions batsman Rassie van der Dussen, the next few weeks are surely going to be some of the best of his life, as he continues to ride the crest of a wave that has been building for years, but has seemingly reached its crescendo.
The summer of 2018/19 has already seen a new dawn for South African cricket, and the rakish Van der Dussen was one of the quickest to the trigger. He tore into bowling attacks in the Mzansi Super League, forcing selectors to look his way.
As the Proteas continue to search for that batsman with “that” certain instinct, the hard-hitting 29-year-old has put his bat up firmly for consideration.
The next logical step, then, as he joined the squad to face Pakistan in five one-day international, is to show that mettle at the highest level.
“I am hoping to make my debut. I haven’t played an international game for South Africa, but I have played two T20s,” Van der Dussen said yesterday.
He will surely have to play, given that his was such a late thought by the selectors. Having been summoned, he must be seen. Not that the other Rassie of SA sport is counting his chickens just yet.
“If that day does come, I hope I can contribute towards a winning cause – that is the most important thing. I also want to feed off the experienced guys. For me, it’s a massive honour and privilege to be here,” Van der Dussen said.
There was genuine pride in that, because he may have wondered if the clock had ticked past him, and the selectors would look beyond him. Not that he isn’t ready to pick up some new tricks.
“If I can learn and improve a bit, that will be the main goal,” he said.
Van der Dussen also holds very good memories at St George’s Park. It is the scene of his debut in T20 international cricket, and the venue itself lends itself to his brand of all-out action at the crease.
“This field is one of the best in the country. The outfield and the wicket always have a nice pace to them,” Van der Dussen said of the windy city.
“It is a ground that has good memories for me. I made my T20 debut here a few years ago, and I am quite excited (for tomorrow’s first ODI against Pakistan).”
And excited he should be, because the carrot dangling in front of him is the ultimate one. The World Cup beckons, and he knows that a strong performance, under the brightest lights in SA, might see him change his winter plans.