WATCH: Relaxed Linde making his chances count
“I am just enjoying it at the moment. You never know when there is no form. I am just trying to work hard, do the basics, believe in myself a bit more. I am also reading the game a bit better; that comes with five, six years of playing,” Linde said yesterday.
“I have so much confidence coming back (from India). I can see it in four-day cricket and white-ball cricket. I am a bit more relaxed when I play.
"I am still nervous, but before the Test match I used to put so much pressure on myself to perform every game now I am just a little bit more relaxed and take it game-by-game."
The mindset change has certainly paid dividends for Linde. From being a franchise/club cricketer still last season trying to make his way, he has fast developed into an international that held his own against the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
WATCH: "I felt like I had a hangover . my mouth was dry!" - @CT_Blitz all-rounder George Linde on his first ball in Test cricket for the #Proteas. @IOLsport @MSL_T20 @OfficialCSA pic.twitter.com/6sUuKm4Bv8— Zaahier Adams (@ZaahierAdams) November 13, 2019
Linde’s meteoric rise has catapulted him into the frame for the upcoming home series against England, and also the ICC T20 World Cup next year. A few more solid performances in the Mzansi Super League, like his cameo with the bat against the Jozi Stars last Friday, followed up by a superb bowling performance against the Paarl Rocks, will certainly put him right in-front of the queue.
“I am focused on this tournament, so whatever happens, must happen,” Linde said. “Of course you do think about the future though. My eye is on the international games coming up, and the T20 World Cup, because at the end of the day, it is a dream for any boy growing up it is a dream to play for South Africa at a World Cup. To represent your country, your friends and your family.”
He will hopefully not be as nervous as when he bowled his first ball in Test cricket when the World Cup call-up does indeed come.
“It was actually a weird feeling. I felt like I was dreaming somewhere. It didn’t feel like I was playing a cricket game. I was more nervous playing a franchise game that going into that Test,” Linde said.
“But obviously, day one, my first ball My first over felt like I had a hangover. My mouth was dry, I couldn’t swallow anything. But after that I was so relaxed. I didn’t focus on who I was bowling to, or who was at the crease. I just focused on doing on what I know I can do, and if they hit me off my lengths, then so be it. I know now I can play.”