Former Springbok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg is eager to make a positive impact with bat and ball, during Friday’s Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup fixture against the Proteas at the Wanderers.
Liebenberg, flummoxed by left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, fell cheaply in a showcase fixture against the national cricket team earlier this year – and proved costly with the ball.
He has since retired from international rugby, but has been retained in a formidable squad for the 5 December spectacle in Johannesburg.
‘Lonwabo bowled me in the last game with a good in-swinger, which hit the middle of middle. Hopefully, the umpires will lift the lbw rule for the Springboks, which could be a useful advantage,’ Liebenberg told MyPlayers.co.za.
‘I definitely want to score more runs this year. Maybe I can even throw up a few lollies, and force the batsman into playing some big shots, which could work out in our favour.’
The 32-year-old effectively earmarked flanker Willem Alberts, hooker Bismarck du Plessis and lock Victor Matfield for key performances. Alberts and Matfield were particularly fruitful against the Proteas at Newlands in Cape Town in January, despite a 14-run defeat.
‘Guys like Willem, Bismarck and Victor will be important players for us too. There is some good talent in the Springbok squad, which could surprise our opponents,’ he added.
The Twenty20 match will respectfully mark the one-year anniversary of Mandela’s death – and celebrate the former president’s historical tenure.