Bowling with some of the world’s best fast bowlers has motivated Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo to lift his game with the ball.
Phehlukwayo proved his wicket-taking potential in taking 3-33 in the first ODI against Australia in Perth on Sunday, which the Proteas won comfortably by six wickets.
The 22-year-old has a clever array of variations as one of his strengths and he has already taken 43 wickets in his 34 ODIs to date, with a career-best of 4-40. Phehlukwayo says that bowling alongside the express pace and talent of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi is the perfect learning opportunity for him as he continues to master his craft in limited-overs cricket.
‘It is a massive privilege,’ Phehlukwayo said of bowling in tandem with the fast bowlers. ‘If you look around, there is Steyn, Rabada and Ngidi, you try and execute your skills to your best ability. They force you to be at the level they are at, that is a good thing in the team environment.
‘In any seam attack, if any individual had to come and bowl with those guys they would learn a lot. They have a lot of experience, talent and a lot of skills up their sleeves. It is great to be bowling in tandem with those guys, I have learned a lot from them,’ he added.
The Proteas camp is a happy group following the win on Sunday, and they have re-grouped in Adelaide with a new set of goals and a fresh perspective ahead of the second ODI at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. The possibility of a series win is not the main focus of the squad, but rather their determination to execute the basics and to continue raising the bar through preparation.
‘We are confident,’ Phehlukwayo said after the squad’s practice at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday. ‘The guys have been working hard and have been doing extra at practice. As a team we pride ourselves on working hard and hopefully with the hard work, the results can take care of themselves.’
Proteas ODI squad
Faf du Plessis (capt)
Quinton de Kock
PROTEAS TOUR TO AUSTRALIA 2018
November 9: 2nd ODI, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
November 11: 3rd ODI, Hobart (D/N)
November 14: T20 Tour match, Allan Border Field, Brisbane (Day)
November 17: T20 International, Gold Coast (Night)
Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images