At the IPL, which he described as part of his “bucket list”, Dwaine Pretorius had the opportunity to work with Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey, who had a strong influence on his approach.
When Pretorius asked Hussey what makes him tick, the former Aussie hitter said he used to take notes on things that worked for him over a period of time and repeat them at the crease. Pretorius took a leaf from Hussey’s IPL playbook and compiled his own list of five points, on his personal website, that were “very important” to him while at bat.
I believe that whenever my body language is good, my energy is up and my mind is alert. Then that’s when I play my best cricket, so the first when I step on the pitch is to charge for about five or six yards, have good intensity, run, lift my legs , or whatever it is that makes me tick off the day, but I get my energy up and say come on, let’s go.
The second is the method, what am I going to do now in the next 3 balls? Am I taking my time or am I going to play? What is my method? What am I thinking? Yeah, and then after that, I decided on my method.
I get clarity on the type of shots I’m looking to play. Am I looking to do aerial work? Am I just trying to defend him? Am I looking to pass the next three balls or am I looking to explode in the next three balls? It creates a lot of clarity for me.
Then my fourth thing that I really make sure to remember is a very important thing for me and that’s when I trigger I have to trigger early enough. So for me, the word I think of is get ready.
The last is watching the ball at bat or making good contact with the ball. That’s the last thing I would say to myself as the bowler rushes to make good contact.
Knocked down at No. 3 in a steep 212 chase against India in Delhi on Thursday, Pretorius notched most of those runs while snapping a 13-ball 29, which set the stage for the T20I chase. the most successful in South Africa. According to ESPNcricinfo’s Smart Stats, which adds context to each performance, Pretorius’ shot was Actually worth 38 races.
In the absence of Aiden Markram, forced by Covid-19, South Africa had promoted Pretorius as a striker after losing Temba Bavuma in the third round. What stood out from the start was the third point: clarity. Pretorius mowed his second ball, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four, then he unsettled India’s first spinner Yuzvendra Chahal by sweeping his second ball over midwicket for six.
India have turned to Hardik Pandya fresh off a sensational spell for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL Finals. Hardik’s first pitch burst a short length and whizzed past the shoulder of Pretorius’ swing bat. Some balls went like this while others didn’t hit the bat on a tricky trail, but that didn’t cloud Pretorius’ clarity of thought.
Despite featuring a deep square leg and a long leg, Pretorius threw three leg-side sixes in four balls, taking South Africa to 60 for 1 from five overs. When Pretorius tried to max out the last over of the power play, Harshal Patel castled him with a slower signing. Pretorius had done his job, however, as David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen took off from the platform he had laid.
The promotion of Pretorius should not have come as a surprise to the South African public. After all, his highest T20 score of 77 not out came from No.3, against Sri Lanka at Wanderers in 2019. In Mzansi’s Super League final the same year, he marked his comeback from a hand injury with a 21-ball 43 in a similar No. 3 role, helping Paarl Rocks win the title.
Van der Dussen, Pretorius’ former Lions and Jozi Stars teammate, was certainly not surprised by what he saw. “I think Dwaine is probably one of the hardest hitting guys in world cricket, if you look at his domestic and international stats,” he said at the post-match press conference. “Number 3 is a position he’s been successful in before and the thing tonight [was] he had clear instructions for getting in and putting the bowlers under pressure.
“A total of that nature, you kind of know you have to go hard for 20 overs. And we know when Dwaine is successful it’s really, really hard to play against him because he’s so powerful. He has played brilliantly and came out to a really good ball from Harshal, but I think he’ll get a lot of confidence from that and coming into the series I think he’ll definitely put the bowlers under pressure.”
With Markram still recovering from illness and youngster Tristan Stubbs having just made his way into international cricket, Pretorius will have greater responsibility with the bat in a fine line-up during this series in India.
At last year’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, Pretorius called death bowling a “ugly job”. Likewise, you don’t have to be pretty when playing on the power play. If Pretorius can keep doing that job – with a bat and a ball – and keep ticking things off that list, it will give South Africa a head start, looking ahead to another World Cup. .