Dwaine’s focus on four-day game
ONLY ALL-ROUNDER WITH AVERAGE OVER 40 Lions star is hoping to make Gibson sit up and take notice.
Highveld Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius faces stiff competition from all the other all-rounders currently in the Proteas picture, but the 28-year-old says he is going to channel his focus into the Sunfoil Series and try to separate himself from the rest on the basis of his batting.
Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander and Pretorius have all played for the Proteas across the three different formats in the last year, but Pretorius is the only one who has a first-class batting average of more than 40 (42.46).
Last season was his most productive with the bat as he averaged 52.40 in the Sunfoil Series and he is eager to continue that form when the four-day competition starts next week. The Lions open their campaign on Tuesday against the Warriors at the Wanderers.
“I would love to play more cricket for the Proteas, especially Test cricket, but I’m just going to concentrate on the Sunfoil Series. I don’t know Ottis Gibson at all or what sort of players he likes, only time will tell. So I’ll just go back to my processes, if I get those right then I can perform and from there I hope I get selected.
“I was quite pleased with last year’s four-day competition, I batted at six or seven and I was under pressure, basically coming in at 60/4 several times. But I really liked the chance to bat longer.
“I think I’m more of a 50/50 all-rounder, maybe even more of a batting all-rounder, than a bowling all-rounder, so I want to put myself in a different bracket and replicate what I did in last season’s Sunfoil Series, but keep the same bowling standard. It’s unbelievable to have four other quality all-rounders around and I am close to all of them as mates. But I’m not competing against them, I’m competing against myself,” Pretorius said.
Pretorius, whose accuracy and skilful use of the ball are his greatest bowling attributes, believes the Lions have the resources to lift themselves from a fifthplace finish last season back into contenders for the title.
“Things are looking up and guys like Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks and Stephen Cook know they are close to the national side, so they don’t need any extra motivation. Beuran Hendricks, Omphile Ramela and Craig Alexander have come over to us and will add a lot of value.
“This year there’s competition for batting spots and the older guys know they have to perform. We’ve lost Temba Bavuma, but it doesn’t feel as much of a shock as it would have been three years ago and Omphile will add a lot of stability,” Pretorius said.
DETERMINED. Highveld Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius will spend time on his batting in the longer format of the game.