Cricket

We have started picking the chinaman bowler, says Heinrich Klaasen

[caption id="attachment_62919" align="alignnone" width="580"]RON_2824 Proteas batsman Heinrich Klassen on rampage against the Indian spinners during the Pink ODI at Wanderers on Saturday. Image Source: BCCI[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Johannesburg: Proteas hard hitting batsman Heinrich Klaasen on Saturday revealed that the batsmen have started picking both the Indian wrist spinners. The Dolphins cricketer turned out to be the unlikely hero in the Pink ODI yesterday. The 26-year-old said that while Chahal hadn’t worried SA much, it was Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling that was a bit of a bother. However, they worked on it.

“The problem at beginning of the series was that we didn’t pick the Chinaman. The leggie was, no one really struggled to pick him but he seemed to pick up a lot of wickets. We struggled to pick the Chinaman’s variations and we did a lot of homework on him over the last 2-3 days and that seemed to work today,” said Klaasen in his post match press conference.

The burly wicket-keeper batsman was a bit surprised to see Kohli persisting with his wrist spinners instead of getting Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah to bowl towards the end of their innings.

“I was very surprised. David (Miller) and I thought they would have kept them at the back-end for two overs each. But I think how this series went that led them to bowling their spinners for the remaining of the overs, but I was very surprised about it,” he said.

Klaasen played a blinder (47 off 27 balls), improvising himself to disturb the line of the spinners. While there were reverse sweeps, he went almost to the sixth or seventh stump outside off and pulled a wide delivery from Yuzvendra Chahal to square leg for four.

“That’s where the gaps were… that was my only boundary option. He bowled quite wide and got a lot of turn and bounce, that was my gutsy shot at that moment and I pulled it off,” said Klaasen, who added that the sweeps and reverse sweeps come naturally to him.

“It comes naturally to me, but I work hard on it. Three years ago we went to Sri Lanka on a National Academy trip. So there, we learned all types of sweeps. Since then, I’ve brought it back into my game and it works, it takes off a lot of pressure. Especially against good spinners, it’s difficult to hit them down the ground if you don’t use your feet well. So that just changed up their lengths and it suits me a little bit better.”

Klaasen said that the Wanderers victory is a big confidence booster for the side. He confessed it was always his dream to play Pink ODI.

“I always dreamed about it (Pink ODI). I told Aiden now that two weeks ago, I told my ‘messy’ (girlfriend) I don’t have tickets to come to the Pink Day. The crowd was unbelievable and I’ve never experienced anything like that. Especially there were some stretches on the field when the crowd were just ballistic. I couldn’t hear any nicks or stuff like that. Unbelievable vibe,” signed off Klaasen.

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