Simon Harmer believes the standard of domestic cricket played a part in his dream debut in the third Test at Newlands
The 25-year-old off-spinner took three for 67 on his first day of international cricket, realising a dream.
‘I know its cliché but I have always wanted to play for my country since I was four,’ he said.
The Warriors bowler is the third new cap in as many Tests, after Stiaan van Zyl and Temba Bavuma, and he credits Cricket South Africa’s domestic set-up for the quality of the players coming through.
‘It must be the level and standard of cricket at domestic level,’ he said. ‘If you look around the world at the different domestic competitions I think South Africa is right up there. I think the structures that Cricket South Africa have put in place have contributed towards that and I think with South Africa being the No.1 Test playing nation in the world, there is a lot of pride and honour that goes with playing for your country.’
Harmer also relished playing in front of a near-capacity Newlands crowd.
‘I tried to take in as much as I can,’ he said. ‘I’ve been told that playing at Newlands is the Test that you want to play in in South Africa. It was nice having a 90 percent crowd here today and even nicer having them on your side. A lot of the times when I have played here for the Warriors against the Cobras the crowd was against me, so to play here; packed house, playing for your country, with everyone behind you was quite special.’
One of Harmer’s victims was Leon Johnson, who admitted that his team were disappointed at falling short.
‘We can’t be totally happy with guys not carrying on but as a team we’re happy,’ Johnson said. ‘It’s the first time we batted out 90 overs in the series. We showed the kind of fight that we’ve been talking about.’
‘When guys get in to 30s and 40s, there seem to be some concentration problems and little lapses,’ Johnson said. ‘We’ve done a lot of work technically but not a lot of work mentally. Mental preparation for cricket is something you do by yourself and you improve as you go along.’