Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo believes pressure situations bring out the best in him.
The Proteas had a productive knock in the middle against Sri Lanka in their first warm-up fixture on Friday. They managed to score 300-plus and win comprehensively by 87 runs.
Key to their victory was all-rounder Phehlukwayo who contributed healthily with both bat and ball. He came in with South Africa contained at 228-5 in the 37th, and managed to swing the momentum back in his side’s favour with a cameo 35. He then took 4-36 en route to their win.
Phehlukwayo announced himself in international cricket with decisive performances against New Zealand and Australia in 2017 and relishes his reputation as a finisher.
‘Batting at number seven is an interesting one – you’re the last recognised batter,’ the 23-year-old said.
‘There’s pressure, but it’s the chance to show off your skills and make a really decisive play for the team.
‘I think there are going to be a lot of tight situations in this tournament, with so many games to play.
‘Hopefully I can put myself in those situations and rise above them.
‘It’s something I do enjoy – that’s where all good players are tested. I hope I can come through for the team in those situations.’
Phehlukwayo believes, however, that the Proteas should have scored more runs against Sri Lanka and are cable of putting up 350-plus scores despite criticism about their batting ability.
‘It was a good day out,’ he said.
‘We batted pretty well – I personally would have liked more runs, but the wicket had something in it if you hit a good length.
‘It’s encouraging to know we can get 300 without being at our best. Hopefully we can take this momentum into the tournament.’
The Proteas face West Indies next on Sunday, before their opener against England on Thursday 30 May.