Proteas opening batsman Pieter Malan has likened his Test debut last week to a video game and spoke glowingly of his first taste of cricket at the highest level.
‘That’s not pressure, that’s privilege,’ he said after his side’s 189 run defeat at Newlands. ‘Pressure is playing out there in a semi-pro game with nobody watching, fighting for your career.
‘Being out there, with the Barmy Army, Jimmy Anderson running in, it felt like a video game at some stage. It was unbelievable. I felt very privileged to be in a position to fight for the team and try and bat long and just be there for as long as I can.’
Malan replaced the injured Aiden Markram for the second Test against England at Newlands in Cape Town.
He fell for a mere five runs in the first innings, prodding at a Stuart Broad delivery that he explained he would ordinarily leave alone.
But he stood firm with a patient 83 in the second. His vigil, however, was not enough to prevent the hosts from slipping to a 189 run defeat.
The steely right-hander’s 83 was lined with several leaves outside the off-stump, as the home side tried to force a draw in Cape Town.
‘In the last three or four years, leaving has been a massive part of my game; leaving the ball well and eliminating dismissals that I felt were soft. As a new-ball player, you want to make the bowlers bowl at you,’ he added.
The 30-year-old praised the positive influence of former Proteas batsman and current Cape Cobras head coach Ashwell Prince.
‘He has been massive in my career. He played 60-odd Tests, averaged over 40 and scored centuries, so when he tells you something, you listen. We work on small technical stuff that we just keep refining,’ concluded Malan.
The third Test will be played at St George’s Park. The fourth will be hosted by the Wanderers. The Proteas won the first Test in Centurion.
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