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Van der Dussen called up to South Africa’s ODI squad | Cricket – WSAIGO Sports
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Van der Dussen called up to South Africa’s ODI squad | Cricket

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Hashim Amla clobbers one away © AFP/Getty


Batsman Rassie van der Dussen is in line for his ODI debut and seamer Dane Paterson has been recalled to South Africa’s 14-man squad for the first two ODIs against Pakistan to be played later this month. Van der Dussen scored a match-winning fifty on his T20I debut against Zimbabwe last year, but missed out on selection for South Africa’s limited overs trip to Australia in November, while Paterson has not played for the Proteas in this format since his debut series against Bangladesh in 2017.

Hashim Amla, who missed the most recent series in Australia while he was recovering from a finger injury, also returns to the squad but JP Duminy and Lungi Ngidi were not considered as their rehabilitation to full fitness continues.

“We need to look at all the options available to us as we get closer to selecting our final squad for this year’s World Cup,” national selector Linda Zondi said. “Rassie and Dane are two players who have been knocking strongly on the door in all formats.”

After his bright T20I debut, van der Dussen continued to make headlines during the inaugural Mzansi Super League, during which he topped the run charts with 469 runs at a strike rate of 138.75 and played a vital role in Jozi Stars’ title-winning campaign. Paterson has also been there and thereabouts for a while, having played in the T20Is against Zimbabwe and been included as injury cover in the Test squad against Pakistan.

The trialing of van der Dussen and Paterson means that Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram and Chris Morris miss out on the opening exchanges against Pakistan, but they could well get a look-in towards the end of the five-match series, when the squad will be revised.

“Those players who went to Australia and have not been selected for the first two matches – Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram and Chris Morris – are by no means out of the picture and they may well get further opportunities in the second half of the series,” Zondi said.

“We are very happy with the way in which our Vision 2019 is taking shape. The series against Pakistan could not have come at a better time as they will provide a very stern test for the Proteas under conditions very similar to what we will experience at the World Cup.”

South Africa ODI squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town


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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.










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The Casson hand in ‘self-sufficient’ Patterson’s rise

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After Kurtis Patterson received his late-evening call from national selector Trevor Hohns to tell him to pack his bags for Brisbane, one of first people he was on the phone to – after his girlfriend, mum and dad – was New South Wales batting coach Beau Casson who the batsman has spoken of in glowing terms for his help in what has become a breakthrough season.

Casson, the former left-arm wristspinner who played one Test before being forced to retire with a heart problem in 2011, took the NSW role in the build-up to the 2018-19 season as part of a coaching structure at the Blues. He has already forged a very close relationship with Patterson, whose back-to-back centuries against the touring Sri Lankans in Hobart offered an irresistible case to the selectors, who drafted him in despite already having made considerable changes to the batting line-up.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Beau Casson, we’ve forged a really strong relationship and he’s absolutely fantastic for me,” Patterson said. “I really enjoy the way he goes about his coaching, we get along really well on a personal level, which helps to start with, and I think he really understands batting and cricket. He keeps it really simple which I think is what I’ve been lacking in previous years, going too far the other way. He’s just a good coach who knows the right things to say.”

However, Casson was more than happy to deflect the praise back the other way for a player he called very “self-sufficient”.

“It’s flattering that Kurtis has said those nice things but he’s probably giving me a little too much credit it there,” Casson told ESPNcricinfo. “He’d identified areas from his own personal reflection that he wanted to work on and that’s where you mustn’t understate how much he thinks about his game. He has a really good self-awareness. [There have been] minor technical adjustments, but it’s been about getting the right state of mind. I can’t state this enough, he’s done a huge amount himself. Also in a really conducive environment at New South Wales.”

Patterson’s twin hundreds in the pink-ball warm-up, albeit not a first-class fixture, made it three in his last five red-ball innings following an unbeaten century against Western Australia when NSW were in deep trouble before the Sheffield Shield break in late November. It has been a stirring response to the debate about his conversion rate, which currently stands at six centuries in 103 first-class innings. After his first-innings ton in Hobart, Patterson admitted that the WACA hundred had been a key moment.

“There’s obviously been a bit of chat about that for the last little bit,” he said. “I feel like there was a big monkey off the back in Perth which was really nice. So to go out there and get a big hundred for my club side, and again today, I just feel like it’s off the shoulders, that weight’s not there, I can go out there with some really good clarity and just play my game.”

Speaking on Monday, Patterson said: “I think taking a step back and relaxing when I’m in the middle [has made the difference], probably in the last couple of years I’ve thought about it too much when I’ve got in and tried to change too many things. This year I’m just letting it happen. There’s been a couple of changes with my hands, getting my stance a little higher, but mainly it’s just been some mental changes around my thinking and developing some simple, sound routines when I bat.”

Casson pinpointed the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria, where Patterson contributed two half-centuries in a game while NSW were skittled for 159 and 179, as a performance that stood out. Patterson, though, was never in any doubt that he had the skill for the step up, which narrowly passed him by two years ago when Nic Maddinson was called up to face South Africa following the infamous defeat in Hobart.

“I think everyone was very confident. He’d been in really good form, he made starts which is when batting is most challenging when you first start. There was a match against Victoria, a heavy defeat for us, Kurtis made 50 in both innings on a wicket that was challenging when the chips were down, that was good indication he was in good touch. There have been a few training techniques he’s done himself and now he’s seeing the benefits. He’s a student of the game, loves the game, and it’s exciting for Australian cricket,” Casson said.

When the pair chatted yesterday evening, any coaching advice was left behind and Casson had one simple message for Patterson: “I just said enjoy this moment with your loved ones, they’ve been on the rollercoaster ride.”



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Kurtis Patterson picked in selectors’ backflip

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Australia’s selectors have added Kurtis Patterson to the Test squad at the last possible moment, to face Sri Lanka after the New South Welshman’s twin centuries in the Hobart tour match made his case undeniable.

Originally omitted from the group to play in Brisbane and Canberra, Patterson churned out unbeaten innings of 157 and 102 at Bellerive Oval before being informed on Sunday night he had been added to the squad and would join Tim Paine’s team in Brisbane.

Patterson’s inclusion means that he along with Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Will Pucovski are all vying for two spots in the Australian batting order, fitting in with Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head after Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh were dropped.

ALSO READ: Will Pucovski earns Australia call-up as Marshes and Handscomb dropped

Trevor Hohns, the selection chairman, stated that Patterson had done all that was asked of him to earn a late call into the Test squad.

“Kurtis has been pushing his case for selection for some time, he has been a consistent top-order player for New South Wales, was a member of the Australian A tour of India prior to the commencement of our summer, and was most recently selected to compete in the day-night tour match against Sri Lanka in Hobart,” Hohns said.

“We have been asking batters around the country to score hundreds if they want to be considered for selection, and given Kurtis’ consistent performances for NSW and his two unbeaten centuries in last week’s tour match against our upcoming opponent, Sri Lanka, we believe he deserves to be added to the Test squad.

“Kurtis has joined the squad in Brisbane today to commence our preparations for the first Test starting on Thursday.”

More to follow…



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West Indies’ interim coach Richard Pybus shrugs off criticism of comeback

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There wasn’t much of a honeymoon period for Richard Pybus. No sooner had he been announced as West Indies’ interim head coach – even before he had been announced, really – the criticism started to flow. And if that was, in part, due to an allegation that due process had not been followed in making the appointment – an allegation rejected by CWI – it was also down to his history.

Whether Pybus likes it or not, he brings baggage to the role. Yes, his experience, both as a coach and in the region, is undeniable. But so is the fact that he was at the centre of the dispute that saw West Indies abandon their 2014 tour of India. As a result, several prominent figures in Caribbean cricket are sceptical about him and seem unafraid to vocalise those views. And, as Peter Moores found in his second stint as England coach, such baggage can drag a man down pretty quickly if results don’t go his way.

One of the more vocal critics of Pybus’ appointment has been former captain Darren Sammy. He responded to a CWI press release that referred to Pybus as “the architect of the West Indies trifecta of 2016 World Cup titles” – the men’s World T20, the women’s World T20 and the Under-19 World Cup – by saying the teams won “in spite” of him, not because of him. And, when Jimmy Adams, West Indies’ director of cricket, drew up a shortlist for the interim coaching position, Pybus was a noticeable absentee from the list of 11 names.

All in all, it seems an oddly incendiary appointment, and a distraction West Indies could do without. But Pybus is having none of it. Talking to the media at the Kensington Oval on Sunday, he insisted the team were “focused, positive and motivated” and that there were no issues within the West Indies camp.

“Darren Sammy is entitled to his opinion,” he said. You’ll have to ask him about that. Criticism is part of the game, part of the tapestry and the drama around sport. We’ve just got to get on with the job really. I don’t really want to unpack the past.

“The team are very focused, positive and motivated. You guys will write your stories, create a bit of an angle and drama but, from my side, I’m not really worried about that. The guys are focused on the series coming up. There are no issues.

“I don’t want to sound too ‘zen’ but I’m really focused on the first day coming up and making sure we’re ready for it.”

Pybus did suggest, however, that some of the structures he had put in place during his tenure as director of cricket – not least broadening the base of the professional game – were starting to pay dividends.

“I’ve done three years as director of cricket and what’s in the results bank is in the results bank,” he said. “We put programmes in place. It’s fantastic to see some of these guys come through the programmes. It’s the coaches who work with them, the support staff around them, it’s the system which supports to ensure we deliver on-field excellence.

“It’s very much a work in progress. Nobody involved in cricket in the Caribbean can say we’re where we want to be; the region has been playing catch-up. But we’re starting to have the depth to support the players properly.

“There’s two sides to it. The players in the past would have criticised delivery and support and there may be some truth in that. On the other side the board would be saying ‘we’re doing our best’ and there’d be some truth in that, too.

“I don’t know about trifectas. It’s the players on the park who deliver but I was satisfied at the time with how the programmes supported players.”

He also hinted that the character of West Indies cricket, with teams selected from across a wide region and several different counties, lent itself to a certain amount of debate, discussion and disagreement.

“It’s the Caribbean,” he said. “You’ve got 16 countries. It’s not like England, Australia or South Africa. With the internal politics there’s always discussion. It really is a unique part of the world. Unless you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the region it’s difficult to understand quite how challenging it is. London to Birmingham is a couple of hours in the car; Antigua to Jamaica can be three days.”



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