Be the next log in the Protea fire, says Klusener to his young rookies
CAPE TOWN – There has been plenty of discussion in India about the make-up of the South African T20 side, with the locals not giving the visitors much chance of upsetting Virat Kohli’s juggernaut team.
Unfortunately for the thousands that made their way to the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Sunday, they were forced to leave without a ball being bowled due to the first T20 international being washed out.
Much of their disdain, though, stems from the inexperienced outfit the Proteas are fielding in this series. There are four potential debutants - Temba Bavuma, George Linde, Anrich Nortje and Bjorn Fortuin - in the 15-man squad.
However, former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener, who is the batting coach for the T20 team on this tour, believes that instead of being intimidated by the opposition, it is the perfect opportunity for this group to lay down a marker of their own.
Klusener is certainly pressing them to seize the chance.
“Put your hand up! Be the next log in the Protea fire, really! That would be something! That’s really the message because they are good cricketers, they are good people,” Klusener said.
“Jump in and take opportunities with both hands - it’s an old saying but I think, it’s closer to the truth. You have earned your right to be here. Don’t change your game, believe in yourself.
“We have got some fantastic young-skilled players. It can be the start of identifying some future heroes or stars for South Africa.”
Klusener believes it is not only the Proteas that are bereft of experience in key areas though. India are without their frontline attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Instead the hosts will be relying on rookies Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar to keep the Proteas in check. This could the opening the visitors have been seeking.
“Looking at the Indian team, that (inexperienced bowling attack) is an area we are going to take advantage of just like I suppose, you look at opposing teams and at areas, which you can take advantage of,” Klusener said.@ZaahierAdams