Lions speedster Migael Pretorius aims to improve his batting and solidify the number seven role as an all-rounder, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The 24-year-old, who played the majority of his cricket for Northerns and made his debut for the Titans in 2017, decided to make the switch to the Lions for the 2018-19 domestic campaign.
His 2017 season also saw him selected in the SA Emerging side against Zimbabwe A, where he took 5-34 in a six-wicket win.
Primarily a medium-fast bowler, Pretorius aims to work on his batting as he believes this is his best chance to grab the attention of national selectors.
Talking exclusively to SACricketmag.com, Pretorius let us in on his pre-season preparations and his goals for the season, and revealed that Lions coach Enoch Nkwe has plans for the young man to become a bowling all-rounder.
‘At the moment we have a very strong batting side and a lot of good all-rounders. However, if I can bat in the number seven position I will be very happy because I want to take the new ball as well,’ said Pretorius.
‘Batting at number seven gives me a nice recovery time if we do fall into trouble in a couple of the games. If I can be six or seven that is the ultimate goal for me. I don’t think anyone can stop me – it’s up to me now.’
His path to becoming the Lions’ first-choice number seven will not be easy considering the abundance of all-rounders in the side. Out-of-favour Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius is one of those players gunning for that spot.
‘I have had good conversations with Dwaine,’ said Pretorius. ‘The Lions players really have helped. It’s nice to know that they don’t see me as competition but, rather, as someone that they can help.’
Pretorius had a successful debut for the Lions, taking six wickets in his first match and helping the Lions to a comprehensive nine-wicket win against last season’s 4-Day Franchise Series runners-up, the Warriors. He hopes to kick on this season and knock down the door for SA A selection by focusing on short-term goals.
‘I want to play in all formats for my franchise. I do believe I can do so and it is something I want to show,’ he added. ‘If I can really achieve my goals in all three formats for my franchise then hopefully I can get a sneak peek in the SA A side. Everyone else would want to play for South Africa – if you don’t want that then you shouldn’t be playing cricket.
‘I try to work three games ahead, and a small goal I set for myself is trying to get a wicket in every innings in which I bowl. I also want to get my runs up to a decent batting average to give myself the chance to be seriously considered as an all-rounder by the selectors.
‘I want to do well in the red-ball stuff first, and if I can play in all the games then I know I’m doing something right. Then I want to get prepared for the T20 stuff, which is the following goal. The Momentum One-Day Cup is a bit far for me.’
Pretorius’ first-class stats: 21 matches
Bowling: 79 wickets at an average of 21.43 (economy 3.13)
Batting: 524 runs at an average of 27.57 (strike rate 79.27), including two fifties.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images