I've learnt from the 'big dogs', says double centurion Kyle Verreynne
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CAPE TOWN - "I don't have to keep".
That's Kyle Verreynne's clear message to the national selectors after striking a career-best 216 not out against the Warriors at Newlands on Monday.
The Cape Cobras wicket-keeper has been former Proteas captain and gloveman Quinton de Kock's understudy in the Test squad the past 12 months.
And the communication to Verreynne has been crystal clear from Proteas coach Mark Boucher during this period. "It's pretty straightforward forward: Quinny is the Test keeper and I am his backup."
However, Verreynne is certainly now creating a situation where convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang and the rest of his panel may have to rethink the structure of the Test XI with the diminutive right-hander pushing for inclusion solely as a specialist batsman.
He has already amassed 571 runs in just four First-Class games this season at an average of 95.16. Furthermore, Verreynne is not simply enjoying a single golden summer as his overall average is 51.16.
"I've said it in the past I would like to make the team as a batsman alone or as a keeper alone. I don't have to keep," Verreynne said.
"I've put a lot of emphasis on my batting because if I can get into the team as a batsman alone that would be perfect. I just have to keep going and let them make the decision."
There is unfortunately no clarity when the Proteas Test side will be action again after Australia pulled out of their tour to South Africa scheduled for this month due to Covid-19 concerns.
There is talk about a possible tour to the Caribbean during the winter.
But one thing for certain is that there will be at least be one change to the line-up that lost to Pakistan in Karachi after the retirement of Faf du Plessis.
Mpitsang and Co. have a number of options to consider with Dolphins' Keegan Petersen and Knights youngster Raynard van Tonder also banging on the Test door.
Verreynne, though, doesn't want to focus on that for the moment and prefers to utilize the time spent around the national team to his benefit.
"When you training with the best you have to lift your game. It forces you to elevate your game and figure out things that you need to do against better bowlers," he said.
"Watching the guys in the Test side go about their preparation, you also pick up a few small things that you can take into your preparation. So that's what I have done, just watched the big dogs go about their business and see if there is anything l can learn or implement."