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‘Opener’ Jansen ready to make big contributions with bat for South Africa in World Cup

Mumba: The cricketing world might be in awe of Marco Jansen’s blistering 42-ball 75 against England, but the South African is firm about progressing further in his journey as an all-rounder, and he is banking on his experience as an ‘opener.’

South Africa’s humongous 229-run win included a sensational maiden ODI fifty in ODI cricket by Jansen, who added 151 runs for a record sixth-wicket partnership with Heinrich Klaasen (109).

The left-arm seamer also returned a fine spell of 2/35, accounting for Dawid Malan (6) and Joe Root (2).

“When I grew up, I opened the batting so for me, I enjoy batting a lot. I’m not as pleasing on the eye like the other guys, but I love batting and I try to work very hard on it,” Jansen said.

Jansen said South Africa did not think about getting to a total as big as 399/7.

“We knew it was not that bad a wicket. When I joined Klaasen, he just said have good options and plans. We never thought that we were going to get to 400. The plan was to get around 320-350,” he said.

The left-arm pacer said the Proteas bowlers did not rest on the cushion of a heavy total, and were focusing on hitting right lines and lengths against English batters.

“We knew that they were going to come hard, but since the wicket was good, we thought we had to stick to our plans and try and force them to make a mistake.

“They are very good stroke makers, and we knew that if we were going to miss our mark they were going to put us all over the park,” Jansen added.

The lanky all-rounder said he was not receptive to Klaasen’s complaints about the extremely challenging conditions when he joined him in the middle.

“When I got in, I was like ‘why are you complaining’ but by the end of the innings I knew what he was talking about,” Jansen said.

“I know that he did a lot of work to get there. I told him that he was not walking off this ground if he is not getting a hundred,” he said.

Hendricks looks to build on

Reeza Hendricks has had a challenging period in international cricket waiting for his turn to play for the national side.

But the South African made the opportunity count with a fine 85 against England, while coming in as a last-minute replacement for captain Temba Bavuma, who missed the match with an illness.

Hendricks, who made a debut ODI hundred in 2018, added 121 runs for the second wicket with Rassie van der Dussen, said he was not even expecting to play against England.

“I have been preparing like everyone else does in the nets on the day of the game. I obviously did not expect to play, but the way things unfolded, which is 5 to 10 minutes before the toss time and to get my mindset on and ready to go,” Hendricks expressed after the game.

“It has been a long wait, but I’ve been in and out, waiting over the last five years. I don’t know how many ODI games I have played. Hopefully, the second one (hundred) will come soon,’ Hendricks said with a laugh.

The right-handed batter said he was focussing on what he could control as selection was not in his hands.

“I have to make peace with the situation that I am faced with. There is no point overthinking it, try and stay as level-headed as possible and control what I can,” he said.

“It is never nice to sit on the side waiting and waiting. It does challenge you,” Hendricks added.

(Published 22 October 2023, 07:36 IST)

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