Beuran Hendricks believes there are two factors that could now see the Proteas derive maximum value from him when competitive cricket returns: Charl Langeveldt and a first national contract.
It’s been a long and even rocky road to recognition for the 29-year-old left-arm seamer since he burst onto the international scene during 2014’s ICC World T20 on the back of a breakout domestic campaign, where he snapped up 28 wickets in just 11 matches for the Cape Cobras.
The fall was quicker than the rise and a move to the Highveld Lions in 2016 took a while to bear fruit.
Now he’s ready to make up for lost time with the continued assistance of a trusted counsellor.
“Having Charl back with the Proteas is special,” said Hendricks.
“I feel that my working relationship with him is pretty good, I’ve been working with him since I was 18. He understands my bowling the best of all the coaches I’ve worked with over the years. We understand how to communicate with each other and helping each other out.
“Everyone’s aware how successful he was during his first stint with the national team (2014 to 2017) and we as a bowling group are convinced he’ll only be better now.”
Perhaps more importantly, Hendricks - who admits his three-year marriage to Lisa has steeled him mentally - now also has the security of a true sense of belonging at national level after being granted his central contract.
“Earning a first one is quite special,” he said.
“It shows that your hard work at franchise and international level does pay off. It now settles a lot of nerves.
“I feel part of the family now and I can now focus on what I need to do to keep us one of the best teams in the world.”
Hendricks showcased his new-found maturity on Test debut against England at the Wanderers earlier this year, recovering from a mauling in the first innings (he took 1/111 from 23 expensive overs) to claim a maiden five-for in the second.
Refreshingly, the Bellville-born exponent rightly gives himself credit for adapting so quickly and well during that match, but also acknowledges that he tailed off subsequently.
“I started off pretty decently but as the season went on my performances dipped. That’s not the standards I set myself. I now know what type of intensity one needs to maintain to keep performing consistently at this level.”
- Compiled by Heinz Schenk