Proteas / 23 December 2019, 12:30pm / ockert de villiers
Rassie van der Dussen will be looking to Stephen Cook for inspiration as he eyes a Test debut for the Proteas against England in Centurion on Boxing Day.
A 33-year-old Cook emerged as one the Proteas’ heroes against England in January 2016 scoring a ton on his Test debut at Centurion.
“I was also here when Stephen Cook made his debut here where he made a 100, he was new in the team, and I took a lot of confidence from that,” Van der Dussen said.
“An innings like that, and England at that stage had one of the best attacks in the world, Stephen came in and looked at home.”
Van der Dussen hopes to reach another significant milestone after making his international debuts in both the T20 and one-day international formats over the last two years.
“It is obviously a new format but the previous two times I made my debut went fairly well and I stood up to the challenge,” Van der Dussen said ahead of the Boxing Day Test.
“I know Test cricket is the ultimate format and speaking to guys like Jacques Kallis has been so valuable.
“In other formats, you can hide some of your weaknesses and get away with it, whereas in Test cricket there is nowhere to hide.
“So I am looking forward to that challenge, I’ve gone fairly well in the other two formats and my next big challenge is to be a three-format player, so be successful in the Test arena as well.”
Van der Dussen is champing at the bit at the prospect of proving himself against one of the world’s best bowling attacks.
The England attack includes James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
“Anderson, Broad are the guys I’ve been watching over the last 10 or 12 years playing Test cricket and as a player dreaming those dreams of facing them and see what they do in different conditions and thinking how you would play there,” Van der Dussen said.
Van der Dussen said he had picked up some of the finer details about red-ball cricket playing with Cook at the Highveld Lions.
He has also relished the chance of tapping into the knowledge of the likes of batting consultant Jacques Kallis and coach Mark Boucher in camp over the last few days in Centurion.
“With the new coaching staff here, we as players are spoilt, and we’ve (got) Jacques Kallis, we’ve got Mark Boucher, legends of not only South African cricket but world cricket, the minds that you can tap into,” Van der Dussen said.
“That is what I’ve tried to do over the last few days, work closely, absorb and learn as much as I can in the final stretch before the Test series starts.”