Rilee Rossouw is using his time at the IPL in India to improve his batting against spin bowling, while also trying to break into the Royal Challengers Bangalore team.
Rossouw is one of several foreign players at RCB where he plays alongside countrymen AB de Villiers and David Wiese, while Allan Donald is the bowling coach.
His first taste of the IPL came in 2012 before his international debut. Two years later, he was re-signed as a replacement for Australia’s Nic Maddinson. Since then, Rossouw has featured in just four matches overall and has spent most of his time in India on the fringes.
Rossouw has only played one game so far at IPL 2015, but didn’t do himself any favours by going out for a golden duck in RCB’s 18-run defeat to the Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
The competition for places has allowed Rossouw to focus on improving his game.
‘Everywhere you travel as a cricketer you learn,’ he told wisdenindia.com. ‘There are guys who have been around here for years. Guys like Dan [Daniel Vettori] and AB, so you learn a lot.
‘It has made a huge impact on my career. It has improved my game against spin immensely, and also helped me take on the new ball better. It has also helped me improve mentally as a cricketer. From an international perspective it has helped me deal with stress because 50 overs is much longer than 20. That helped me.’
The 25-year-old’s rise to international cricket has been slow and gradual, but it doesn’t bother him.
‘I’m just glad I have been given the opportunity. It has been a long hard ride for me,’ he reflected.
‘I could not take shortcuts anywhere and I have put in the hard yards. I have worked hard on my game and eventually getting to the peak of international cricket is where I want to be. I just don’t want to get there, I want to stay there.’
Rossouw said he has moved on from South Africa’s semi-final loss at the World Cup.
‘I think because it was my first World Cup, it was a little bit easier. But I was feeling gutted for the senior players,’ he explained. ‘Everyone in the side and the nation wanted us to do well in the World Cup. We also believed this year was our year.
‘But to be honest, I think we have left it behind. The sun comes up tomorrow and cricket is not all in all. We’ve got our families, so this is only a part of my life which I want to enjoy while I can. There are going to be ups and downs and it is about handling the downs and looking at the brighter side of things.
‘Everyone in South Africa was very proud of what we did and achieved,’ he said of the heroes welcome the team received in Cape Town.
‘It makes me want to succeed more for my country. Earlier it was my pleasure to do well for my country. Now it is my resolve to do well.’