Cape Town - With so much talent around him during the early stages of his cricketing career, Proteas batsmen Rassie van der Dussen revealed that he needed to be a better player for him to get ahead and be at the top of his game.
In the latest Standard Bank podcast titled, The Dream to Conquer, Van der Dussen explains he had to compete with the likes of Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Jacques Rudolf at Afrikaans Hoer Seunskool (Affies) and later at the Titans.
"I'll describe myself as a late-bloomer, but I never lost that belief to play international cricket," said Van der Dussen, who was watching the 15-man Cricket World Cup squad announcement on television with his wife.
Van der Dussen credits a few people who played a key role in his cricketing journey and made him realise the dream of playing for the Proteas one day a reality.
"At Affies coach Deon Botes mentored the top players and I often use to ask him how I compared to the likes of Faf and AB when they were in matric," he recalls.
"Botes's honesty at the time was important to me and further made me realise that I had quite a long way to go if I wanted to reach the top.
"Proteas assistant coach Malibongwe
Maketa was my first coach at a professional level when I joined the
Titans and he also helped quite a lot in plotting my career," said the 30-year-old.
Van der Dussen believes the talent in the current setup has the potential of doing great things at this year's edition of the global cricket tournament.
"What stops us from dreaming big? What stops us from bouncing back from previous disappointments at these kinds of tournaments and doing well for our country," he asks.
The Highveld Lions star, whose wife Lara is a former international cricket scorer, says she's been a special part of his cricket journey and continues to be his motivation.
South Africa's 2019 Cricket World Cup squad:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen