Reeza Hendricks spoke of SA’s need to “improve” and “bounce back” twice in his media conference in Durban on Monday‚ and he was right both times.
Despite losing only two wickets they totalled just 266 in the first match of their one-day series against Pakistan at St George’s Park on Saturday. Pakistan added a victory‚ by five wickets‚ to their record at a ground where they have not lost any of their five ODIs.
So it is concerning that Hendricks gave the impression that SA’s batters thought they had done their job well enough: “In our minds we thought it would be a good score. We thought we had gone about it the right way.”
Closer to the truth was that conditions were challenging and the visitors bowled well‚ which Hendricks also highlighted.
Tuesday’s second match will be played at Kingsmead‚ another slowish pitch where the Pakistanis won five of their eight ODIs — including four out of six against SA.
“Tomorrow will be a big game for us‚” Hendricks said. “We’re definitely looking to improve and bounce back from our last game in PE.
“We know Pakistan are a good one-day outfit — they proved it by beating us in PE.”
Hendricks scored 45 on Saturday‚ and saw his Lions teamm at e ‚ Rassie van der Dussen‚ blaze a scintillating 93 on debut.
With the World Cup now just nine ODIs and little more than four months away‚ everything SA do is part of a bigger picture.
So it could complicate Hendricks’ plans for the next few months if rivals like Van der Dussen are able to stake their claim while he is watching from the dressing room.
But‚ nice young man that he is‚ Hendricks said he knew he was part of a dressing room striving for a greater good.
“I’m not looking at who’s around me‚” he said. “If I don’t get selected I know the guys that are going will do the job and I’ll back them 100%.”
Of course. But he will grab the chance to make some runs at Kingsmead on Tuesday to remind the selectors they need to consider all options before naming their World Cup squad.