Rassie van der Dussen has his sights set on T20 World Cup berth

MI Cape Town batsman Rassie van der Dussen celebrates reaching a milestone

The veteran right-hander Rassie van der Dussen is no longer an automatic choice in the Proteas T20 side, particularly with coach Rob Walter keen on providing opportunities for the new brigade. Picture: Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics

Published Jan 15, 2024


MI Cape Town’s Rassie van der Dussen is hoping his sparkling SA20 century will be the catalyst “for a good couple of months” leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the US later this year.

Van der Dussen claimed centre stage at the Wanderers on Saturday with a brilliant 104 off only 50 balls (9x4, 6x6) to help MI Cape Town to open their season 2 account with a convincing 98-run victory over the Joburg Super Kings. It was a crucial innings not just for MI Cape Town, but also for Van der Dussen.

The veteran right-hander is no longer an automatic choice in the Proteas T20 side, particularly with coach Rob Walter keen on providing opportunities for the new brigade consisting of Matthew Breetzke and Dewald Brevis at the top of the order.

Van der Dussen acknowledges that only “runs on the board” will help him force his way back into the reckoning.

Rassie wants to throw his name in the hat

“There is a T20 World Cup later this year. I want to be in a position to hopefully put in strong performances to be in the reckoning for that. The last few series I haven’t been playing; obviously there have been guys who have played really well.

“I’m realistic in the sense that my national T20 numbers in the last year, albeit not being bad, it hasn’t shot the lights out. So, if I am in the conversation or not, I want to be in a position to put in strong performances because I know what I can do. Hopefully, this is the start of that.”

Much of the criticism of Van der Dussen’s batting style in T20s has been of the way he sets up his innings in the first 20 balls. However, he has always felt that he has the ability to catch up towards the end.

It was no different at the Wanderers with Van der Dussen’s first 16 runs coming off 14 balls before he exploded to reach his half-century just 12 deliveries later.

Van der Dussen feels he was able to accelerate due to being back at the top of the order, where he started his T20 career.

“The last few years I’ve been in the middle order, where you don’t get as many chances to get a big score. Good to be back at the top of the order,” he said.

MI Cape Town have certainly benefited from promoting Van der Dussen to open the innings, especially due to him striking up a prolific partnership with the equally impressive Ryan Rickelton, who has struck 98 and 87 in his two turns at bat.

The pair compiled an all-time SA20 record 200-run opening partnership at the Wanderers, which followed their 82-run stand against Durban’s Super Giants just a couple of days earlier.

Good partnership

“Myself and Ryan make a good partnership. We have played together for a lot of years and know each other’s game. Very disappointed (Rickelton not getting his hundred), but he is a quality player. He had a tough last year and has worked hard to get into this groove,” Van der Dussen said.

MI Cape Town head to Newlands for their opening home fixture of the season against Sunrisers Eastern Cape tomorrow. Durban’s Super Giants, meanwhile, host the Joburg Super Kings today at Kingsmead from 5.30pm.


IOL Sport