Af­ter a rocky start De Bruyn looks to fu­ture

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - SPORT -

Ken Bor­land

Hamil­ton is by no means as far down south as you can get in New Zealand, but it is still a rather cold, des­o­late place to make your Test de­but, es­pe­cially when you’re bat­ting out of po­si­tion and have to come out and open on the first morn­ing in the typ­i­cally damp, swing-friendly con­di­tions.

There are many who be­lieve The­u­nis de Bruyn (right), 24, was not given the best chance to suc­ceed in his first Test back in March, scor­ing a three-ball duck in the first in­nings and then be­ing run out for 12 in the sec­ond, but the el­e­gant right-han­der says he was un­fazed by it all and grate­ful that the chance came at all.

“The mes­sage was that the se­lec­tors wanted me to play, al­though ob­vi­ously it was out of po­si­tion. But I started my fran­chise ca­reer as an opener and as a num­ber three bats­man you face the new ball some­times any­way. Ob­vi­ously I was dis­ap­pointed with how it went, but when I get to England, which is a big se­ries, at least I have al­ready played Test cricket.

“So I think it was worth it. It will get eas­ier in terms of emo­tion, if I play again hope­fully I can just fo­cus on watching the ball and mak­ing runs,” De Bruyn said.

“I’ll bat any­where for the Proteas and I truly be­lieve I can be a good opener. Peo­ple chat about me be­ing a mid­dle-or­der bats­man, but in my opin­ion, three or four is part of the top-or­der and you have to adapt your game to bat­ting at 150 for one or 30 for three.

‘So I’m not fazed about my de­but, you never re­ally start where you want to in Test cricket, you have to earn that right. So I’ll play where they need me,” the suc­cess­ful Knights cap­tain added.

The whole brouhaha over De Bruyn’s first Test threat­ens to ob­scure the pos­i­tive news that he en­joyed a tremen­dous sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 57.76 as he led the Knights to the Sun­foil Se­ries ti­tle.

“All this fo­cus on my de­but sug­gests I had an hor­ren­dous sea­son and I know with the me­dia here that you’re a hero one day and zero the next, it’s part of pro­fes­sional sport. But I left my fam­ily be­hind in Pre­to­ria to play for a new fran­chise, I won a tro­phy and made runs, and in two out of three for­mats I made my de­but for South Africa, so it was a won­der­ful sea­son. And it was just my third as a pro­fes­sional, I’m still young,” said De Bruyn.

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