Van Der Dussen on top of game

World Cup nod for bats­man who can float in or­der

Sowetan - - Dipapadi - By Khany­iso Tsh­waku

Hen­drik Eras­mus “Rassie” van der Dussen isn’t a Johnny-come-lately from a do­mes­tic cricket per­spec­tive.

After all, he was the Mzansi Su­per League’s top run scorer with 469 runs in 11 in­nings at 58.62 while also oc­cu­py­ing the same po­si­tion in the Four-Day Fran­chise Se­ries last sea­son with 959 runs at 73.76 in 18 in­nings. He’s also been around the do­mes­tic block for just un­der 11 years and his se­lec­tion to the Proteas ODI squad for the Pak­istan se­ries that starts on Jan­uary 19 in Port El­iz­a­beth is the fi­nal lap in re­gards to the Proteas’ World Cup puz­zle.

It’s been a tough one for na­tional con­venor of se­lec­tors Linda Zondi to put to­gether since AB de Vil­liers re­tired.

How­ever, it’s clear the search has nar­rowed down to the one bats­man who can­not only float in the or­der, but en­sure the score moves along in the cru­cial 11th-39th over mid­dle pe­riod block in ODIs.

“It’s been a case where Van der Dussen has al­ways done well in the fran­chise sys­tem,” Zondi said. “More im­por­tantly, he’s the type of player who can bat any­where from num­ber three to num­ber six. When you look at his white ball record (3,094 runs at 43.57 in 82 in­nings), it shows he’s a guy who’s re­ally pushed hard in terms of be­ing recog­nised. It also helped him go­ing around the T20 leagues around the world and that’s im­proved his game.”

“We don’t want to leave out any­one whom we feel may play a role in the World Cup, es­pe­cially in the mid­dle or­der. We need to have op­tions.”

While the cur­rent squad has been picked for the first two games, Ai­den Markram is the one big bat­ting name who’ll sit out the early en­coun­ters while JP Du­miny and Lungi Ngidi haven’t been con­sid­ered be­cause of in­jury.

Hashim Amla makes a wel­come re­turn after miss­ing the Aus­tralian lim­ited overs jun­ket be­cause of in­jury while Cape Co­bras seamer Dane Pater­son has also been se­lected.

South Africa have 10 more matches be­fore their open­ing World Cup en­counter against Eng­land at the Oval on May 30.

/SYD­NEY SESHIBEDI / GALLO IM­AGES

Rassie Van Der Dussen of the Lions.

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