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Proteas getting a series win over England will be great achievement, says Reeza Hendricks

Reeza Hendricks says a series win over England will be special. Photo: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Reeza Hendricks says a series win over England will be special. Photo: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Jul 30, 2022


Durban - For South Africa to have come as far as this so quickly is applaudable.

After being swept aside 3-0 at home only 18 months ago by this juggernaut England white-ball outfit, it is now they who carry the momentum into a series-decider on Sunday in Southampton.

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David Miller's team righted all their wrongs in Cardiff and produced arguably their most exceptional all-round T20 performance of the past two years last Thursday. The batting was adrenaline-charged, led by the returning Rilee Rossouw and his former Knights teammate Reeza Hendricks, and the bowling and fielding restored its respect after the meltdown in Bristol.

But that is the danger for the Proteas at the Ageas Bowl. They still have a tendency to swing from the sublime to the deplorable in just a matter of hours.

"Coming over to England, we knew they are a good outfit. But we were still disappointed after the first game. The chat was obviously about how we were going to bounce back, and that’s what we managed to do. It is a big game on Sunday. We are quietly confident, and back ourselves to put in another good performance," Proteas opening batter Hendricks said.

"In saying that, we know England will come out guns blazing as well, so its all set up to be a really good game. To get a series win in England will be a really great achievement, and obviously we are striving for that."

Hendricks has actually been the isolated beacon of consistency across the two matches, wherein he has stroked two delightful half-centuries. It would surely have filled the stylish right-hander with confidence, especially with him often not being afforded the opportunity of playing back-to-back games.

But with captain Temba Bavuma ruled out of the United Kingdom tour due to injury, Hendricks has grabbed the chance with both hands and now given national convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang and his panel a real headache at the top of the order leading up to the T20 World Cup in October.

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"It’s always nice to contribute. There is a lot of competition in the team. That’s always a good thing. I am happy I got the opportunity to put in good performances. Where that leaves me, I am not sure. But whatever opportunity I do get, I will try and contribute where I can. Where that puts me selection wise, that’s obviously up to the team, the coaches and the selectors where they see me fit," he said.

"As a player not knowing whether you are going to play or not, it is obviously a very difficult situation to be in. But even with Temba being injured, I didn’t know exactly if I was going to start and play every game. I wasn’t thinking that far ahead though, I just had to go through my processes and my preparation, and when the opportunity does come, just grab it and take it with both hands.

"That was my mindset, and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I can’t control. But if I am selected for games going forward that whatever happens from there happens."

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For the moment Hendricks and the Proteas don't need to think any further than Sunday.

No previous Proteas team has won a white-ball series of any format in England.

Their destiny is now in their own hands.

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Likely teams:

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w), Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller(c), Tristan Stubbs, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.

England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w/c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Richard Gleeson, Reece Topley.