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Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

Proteas batter Ryan Rickelton aims to use the second Betway Test match against Bangladesh starting on Friday at St George’s Park in Gqeberha to cement a spot for himself in the national set-up.

The Lions wicketkeeper-batter made his debut in the first Test against the Tigers and wants to build on those performances to get more exposure at international level.

In his first outing, Rickelton, despite looking composed early on, was dismissed for 21 in the first innings before chalking up an unbeaten 39 in the second.

“It was an awesome experience. I was honoured to represent my country and myself and have the special task of stepping forward in a Test match arena,” Rickelton said.

“I think I was a bit too excited. I came out and played a few shots, the excitement engulfed me and took over my general thinking, and I was a bit too expansive early on and gave my wicket away.

“As the second innings came, I was a lot more composed and relaxed. I was comfortable at the crease and now that the excitement is out, I am looking to replicate that.”

Having been with the group for more than a year, Rickelton values the support he has received from the management and teammates. Speaking about their performance in the first Test, he said they could improve in certain areas.

“Being 100 for nothing at one stage, we should have driven the nail through in the first innings and pushed hard for 400 or 500, so as a batting group, we let ourselves down. With regards to the ball, I think we were exceptional, with Keshav [Maharaj] and Simon [Harmer] doing most of the damage.

“In the field, we dropped a few [catches], so there are areas to work on with the bat and in the field, but I think the guys will go through their individual prep and make sure they can get it right. So, hopefully we can show some improvement in the next Test,” the left-hander said.

Rickelton said Bangladesh will be fired up for the final showdown and despite potentially losing some players due to injury before the second Test, they could still pose a tough challenge.

“Russell Domingo [Bangladesh head coach] and Allan Donald [pace bowling coach] will have a huge say going into this Test. It will be an unknown for the majority of their players, so if you have someone [Domingo] who lives here and knows the ground like the back of his hand, they really need to invest in what he has to say and understand that he knows what he’s talking about with regards to PE,” he said.

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