Sri Lanka in SA
De Lange relishing SA chance
Marchant de Lange (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - It was only a month ago that 21-year-old Marchant de Lange raised eyebrows with his outstanding performance for South Africa "A" against Australia, and now he finds himself in the Proteas' squad to face Sri Lanka in the first Test match starting at SuperSport Park on Thursday.
He drew the attention of the national selectors after rattling the Australians with his raw pace, and with only 14 first-class matches, the Proteas’ environment is the ideal climate for him to grow.
“I have definitely grown,” De Lange said about the impact of the last month of his cricketing career.
“It happened so quickly (selection for the Proteas), everything is still new for me but if I get my opportunity I will definitely use it well.”
His first official practice with the squad was at the familiar setting of his home ground, and that would have helped to dispel any first-day jitters. It also helps that he can feed from the experience and knowledge of the world’s best bowlers in Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn
, which sets up the ideal grooming ground.
“The guys have treated me well, there is a lot of experience all over. In the bowling department Dale (Steyn) and Morne (Morkel) have assisted me there and if I need extra advice I go to the batsmen and get some thoughts there.”
Even though he may not be guaranteed a place in the starting XI, his time with the Proteas will not be in vain, as he hopes to absorb as much information as possible from players and support staff that he grew up idolising.
Both he and Steyn have quite a lot in common, they played their schools cricket in the same area in Tzaneen, and they both know how to do damage with the new Kookaburra. If nothing else, being part of the same team as his role model and inspiration is an opportunity he will treasure for a long time.
“I looked up to him (Steyn), he is one of my role models and it is exciting to get the opportunity to play with him,” concluded De Lange.