The rain that washed out three days of the second Test between South Africa and Bangladesh has robbed debutant Dane Vilas the chance of staking a claim in the side.
Vilas made his debut after the selectors opted to drop Quinton de Kock, who has been struggling for form since the World Cup.
The Cape Cobras wicketkeeper did well behind the stumps on day one last Thursday, but probably won’t get a chance to show what he can do with the bat since there is only one day left on Monday – if the rain stays away.
Vilas, who is only the sixth Test wicket-keeper to don the gloves for South Africa since unity, says the competition for places among wicketkeepers is a healthy situation, much of which he owed to the competitive franchise system in South Africa.
‘I have been playing domestic cricket for a number of years, always dreaming to play for South Africa,’ he said on Sunday. ‘I think in any team environment competition is very good, it shows the strength of the domestic cricket back home. Everybody wants to get into this team which features great stars like Dale [Steyn], Morne [Morkel] and Hashim [Amla].
‘Competition is healthy, this is where everybody wants to be playing. Quinton [De Kock] is a fantastic player; he has done brilliantly throughout his short career so far. I have no doubt that he will be making lots of runs and putting pressure on everyone.’
Vilas (30) made two dismissals during Bangladesh’s first innings with nifty catches standing up off the bowling of JP Duminy and Dean Elgar.
‘It was exciting,’ he said. ‘As a debutant you want to get that first wicket, run or catch under the belt. To get that first catch is a relief after the anticipation of waiting for it.
‘Luckily I took my first one then another one after that, thanks to Dean and JP for helping me out. There was huge elation and hopefully many more to come.’
The match is certain to end in a draw after the effects of cyclone Komen wreaked havoc.
‘We have a good change room at the moment,’ Vilas said. ‘The guys are very good, we enjoy each other’s company. The space we have in the change room is quite big, so nobody is on top of each other. We spend quite a lot of time at the hotel watching movies and bonding, we even have our own Bangladesh premier league of table tennis going on at the team room at the hotel.
‘There is obviously some frustration because we are here to play cricket and we want to play cricket, but the mood in the camp is good.’
Play is scheduled to start at 09h30 on Monday morning if there is no further rainfall.