Former all-rounder Jacques Kallis joined the Proteas coaching staff last year. He has since formally worked with plenty of batting talent, with recent ODI graduate Kyle Verreynne the latest to hail the positive impact of Kallis. There have been several others, too.
Verreynne and Kallis graduated from Wynberg Boys’ High School, but two decades apart. Their level-headed traits are similar. Verreynne is arguably the most exciting prospect among the Proteas’ fresh crop.
‘Working with Kallis is really enjoyable. Just being able to tap into his brain and find out what worked for him at international level and what made him successful for so long; you’re not always going to get the opportunity to get that information. I try to take as much out of it as I possibly could,’ said Verreynne.
Rassie van der Dussen
Van der Dussen arrived late to international cricket after several years on the first-class circuit and has followed a promising start in ODI and T20I competition with early success at Test level.
‘In Test cricket, Jacques told me there is no shying away from weaknesses and by playing domestic cricket for a long time in your career, you get to know your game. Guys can come through the ranks and make their debuts at 30 and know their game. It’s not a case of a guy who is 21 or 22 and he has to prove himself on the international stage,’ said Van der Dussen.
Petersen joined the squad for the Test series against England as cover for the injured Aiden Markram late last year. He immediately started working with Kallis. Perhaps Petersen’s move from the Knights to the Dolphins will be coupled with a Proteas debut.
‘Keegan looks like a very promising player. We’ve spent a bit of time with him now and technically he seems very sound and hungry to do well. I’ve just being passing off a bit of knowledge on gameplans and trying to get a feel for how he sees things and how he goes about his business. He’s keen to spend time in the middle and no doubt he is going to get a lot of runs going forward. I’m sure when the opportunity does come he’ll grab it with both hands, because I certainly think he’s talented enough,’ said Kallis.
Malan joined the XI in the absence of Markram and hit a characteristically steely 84 on debut at Newlands. The innings offered the hosts hope of a draw in Cape Town. Alas.
‘I was very impressed with Pieter. It is not his first roadshow in terms of first-class cricket, but obviously his first Test and he’s a real fighter, which is what you want at the top of the order. He showed that he knows how to switch on and off. I was very impressed with his mental capability, obviously he has a good technique and played the situation well. He knows his game pretty well judging by the amount of first-class runs he has scored,’ said Kallis.
Mulder has been plagued by injury and only recently returned to franchise cricket after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Hopefully, he’ll be able to add to the promise of yesteryear.
‘People have asked me about the comparison with Kallis plenty of times, but I don’t mind them. In fact, I like to be spoken about in the same breath as such a legend. It motivates me and doesn’t put pressure on me. I would love to be the next Kallis,’ Mulder told Cricbuzz.
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