Proteas: Reeza enters World Cup race

2018-08-05 16:26
Reeza Hendricks
Reeza Hendricks (AP)

Cape Town - You get the feeling that Reeza Hendricks, for several years, has been one of those cricketers the South African selectors have teetered over.

Does he cut it at the top level? Or is he just more of a franchise "bully"?

That observation is borne out by the fact that the top-order batsman - who turns 29 on August 14, so hardly a rookie in his chosen career - had played 12 Twenty20 internationals scattered between November 2014 and the early-2018 home series against India.

Even those three matches against the Indians, who very much had South Africa's number in the limited-overs portion of their tour, sent out uncertain signals about Hendricks’s more regular potential for the Proteas.

After beginning with 70 at his recently-adopted home ground of the Wanderers, the former Knights stalwart tailed off a little with follow-ups of 26 (Centurion) and seven (Cape Town).

So simply back to square one? Back to "is he, isn't he"?

Well, no.

Instead, with a couple of holes emerging in their 50-overs batting plans - Rilee Rossouw going Kolpak, then the shockwave retirement of superstar AB de Villiers - Hendricks was a mildly surprise call-up to the ODI squad for the Sri Lankan tour.

I say "mildly" because the Kimberley-born player sports a consistently healthy List-A record back home, including 10 franchise/provincial tons, a top score of 181 and almost 4 500 runs in that landscape.

Bear in mind also that, in his last two first-class appearances for the Lions toward the end of last summer, he clubbed successive centuries against the Dolphins and Cobras in the Sunfoil Series.

READ: Hendricks debut ton takes Proteas to series victory

Aiden Markram's sequence of negligible returns across the formats on tour opened up the No 3 berth for the lean, athletic-looking right-hander in game three at Pallekele on Sunday ... and what a cash-in.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  proteas  |  cwc 2019  |  reeza hendricks  |  cricket


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