Janneman Malan could open the batting with his brother Pieter Malan this season, a preferred position for the young batsman.
The 21-year-old recently signed a contract with the Cape Town-based side after a stellar season for North West.
The former Waterkloof High School student was the top run-scorer in the CSA Three-Day Cup with 1,046 runs, making him the only batsman to cross the 1,000-run mark in first-class cricket this year.
He went past 50 on nine occasions in 14 innings, registering four centuries – including a career best of 208 not out – and five 50s. He scored at a staggering average of 95.09 and a strike rate of 72.38.
He also topped the scoring charts in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge with his 500 runs, which helped steer North West to a maiden title. He scored at an average of 55.55 that included the competition’s highest individual score of 169 vs Northern Cape at Potchefstroom. He also managed four 50s which included a match-winning 69 in the final.
As a result, he picked up two awards at the CSA Awards: CSA Student Cricketer of the Year and Sunfoil Three-Day Cup Cricketer of the Year.
At the backend of the season, he played two first-class games for the Lions in the One Day Cup, where he scored 20 and 83.
Despite already making his debut in franchise cricket, he decided to make the switch to the Cobras for the 2018-19 season.
‘With any move, there are a lot of factors to consider. It ended up being a good decision to move here to grow my cricket,’ Malan told SA Cricket magazine.
‘I want to learn to bat in new conditions and also to bat under Ashwell Prince will be an honour. He was a quality batsman and is a quality coach. I am looking forward to growing and adapting [under his guidance].’
He will come into a squad consisting of nine players of 25 years and under.
He also looks forward to playing with his brother – Cobras Player of the Year and CSA Domestic Players’ Player of the Year – Pieter Malan.
‘I’m looking forward to spending time with my older brother. I will be carrying on as normal and focus on contributing to the team, culture and the squad as much as I can this season. Hopefully, I can make a positive impact.’
Pieter opened the batting for the Cobras last season, a position Janneman is keen to make his own. If his wish is not fulfilled, however, it will not deter him from his goals this season.
‘Over the last two seasons, I have been an opener in all formats. This is my preferred position, but I’m flexible to fall in wherever the coach needs me to balance the team.
‘With regards to goals this season, I’m not going to put any numbers to it. I know it’s a different level to semi-pro cricket and there’s less room for error, so I will focus on staying positive and focus on learning as much as possible from everyone around me so I can grow.’
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images