Reeza Hendricks is taking nothing for granted at the World Cup despite making 85 after a late call-up in the Proteas’ crushing 229-run win over England.
The 34-year-old was set to miss out on Saturday only to be included shortly before the toss in Mumbai after Proteas captain Temba Bavuma withdrew through illness.
Hendricks, however, responded in style at the top of the order and shared a second-wicket partnership of 121 with Rassie van der Dussen.
That stand laid the foundation for Heinrich Klaasen’s subsequent hundred heroics as South Africa made 399-7 – the highest total conceded by England in an ODI.
“I have been preparing like everyone else does in the nets on the day of the game,” Hendricks told the Press Trust of India. “I obviously did not expect to play, but the way things unfolded, which is five to 10 minutes before the toss time, I had to get my mindset on and be ready to go.”
One sadness for South Africa on a triumphant day was when Hendricks fell 15 runs short of what would have been just his second ODI hundred after playing-on to leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
“It has been a long wait, but I’ve been in and out, waiting over the past five years. I don’t know how many ODI games I have played, said Hendricks.
“Hopefully, the second one [hundred] will come soon,” he added, with his lone ODI century made on debut against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2018.
Saturday’s match was in fact only Hendricks’s 30th ODI since and just fourth of the 17 that South Africa have played this year, a testament to the wealth of talent at the top of their order.
As a result he could find himself on the sidelines again if Bavuma is passed fit when a revitalised South Africa return to the Wankhede Stadium for their next World Cup match against Bangladesh on Tuesday.
That would be a familiar experience for Hendricks, who found himself on the bench throughout last year’s T20 World Cup, if an unwelcome one.
“I have to make peace with the situation that I am faced with,” he said. “There is no point over-thinking it, I try to stay as level-headed as possible and control what I can.
“It is never nice to sit on the sidelines waiting and waiting. It does challenge you.”
© Agence France-Presse
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