Nineteen ODIs and four T20s into his career for South Africa, Dwaine Pretorius has a half-century in each format and an economy rate of less than a run a ball in more than half of his bowling performances.
He will go to the 2019 World Cup as a player in the wings rather than at centre stage as a frontline star, but South Africa know he has a solid set of skills to lean on.
Two knee injuries ended his pretensions to bowling properly fast. So he turned down the heat, turned up the precision and concentrated on becoming a better batsman. And that’s earned him a crack at glory on the world stage — what would South Africa have done with another out and out quick when they have so many already?
There’s an unfussy flintiness about Pretorius’ play that will keep him in captains’, coaches’ and selectors’ good books for a long time. He values his wicket but is also comfortable laying willow on leather — as he did to score 50 off 26 balls in only his second ODI innings against New Zealand in Christchurch in February 2017 and an unbeaten 77 off 42 in his maiden T20I knock against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers in March. He has yet to take more than three wickets in an innings, but only twice in his 23 white-ball games for South Africa has his economy rate ballooned to double figures.
Pretorius will go to the World Cup as the second-choice all-rounder after Andile Phehlukwayo, but there isn’t much in it.
He was, after all, summoned to Australia in November 2016 to join the Test squad after Dale Steyn broke his shoulder on the strength of his first-class form. In the first innings of one of those matches for the Lions, against the Warriors at the Wanderers, he scored 97 and took 6/81 in the first innings.
With Pretorius, what you get is more than what you see.