India vs South Africa: Heinrich Klaasen says JP Duminy 'took the fear out' of his game which led to Centurion T20I win

Klaasen smashed 69 off 30 balls as the Proteas won by six wickets on Wednesday to level the three-match series 1-1. The big-hitting batsman said that Duminy, who put on 97 runs off 49 balls for the third wicket with Klaasen, told him to go big.

PTI, February 22, 2018

Centurion: South Africa's newest swashbuckler Heinrich Klaasen has credited captain JP Duminy for "taking the fear out" of his game, saying the skipper's presence was a key factor in his match-winning knock against India in the second T20I in Centurion.

Klaasen smashed 69 off 30 balls as the Proteas won by six wickets on Wednesday to level the three-match series 1-1. The big-hitting batsman said that Duminy, who put on 97 runs off 49 balls for the third wicket with Klaasen, told him to go big.

South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy during their partnership in the 2nd T20I of the series against India in Centurion. AFP

South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy during their partnership in the 2nd T20I of the series against India in Centurion. AFP

"Duminy was the key factor to my whole innings. Second over or the first over I faced, he told me this over needs to go for 10. He told me to just play my normal game and take the bowlers on. Luckily today it worked out," said Klaasen.

"The way JP told me to go, this over needs to go for 20, it takes all the fear out of your game. Then it is very important to keep a calm head. There was a stage when I was swinging quite hard," he added.

"They (the Indians) are very skilful bowlers. So it is not easy to get a run-a-ball, he added.

It was the fastest half-century in T20I cricket by a South African batsman, not only against India but also at Centurion. The knock was made more special for Klaasen by the fact that he got it on his home ground.

Klaasen said his innings was better than the Wanderers cameo wherein rain and a truncated game also provided a T20-like situation for him to chase the total down.

"This one definitely wins - my home ground. It's something you dream about as a young kid, to play for your country on your home ground, and to win a game for your country. This one takes the cherry on the cake," said Klaasen.

"In the first five or six overs, we actually tried to keep up with Duckworth-Lewis-(Stern). Luckily on the fifth or the sixth over, the drizzle stopped.

I said to JP, we can now actually stay one boundary under the DL(S) target, and it worked out," he added.

The constant drizzle helped ease out conditions as the pitch had proven slow earlier on. Even so, it is a nature of day-night games at Supersport Park that the side batting second has an advantage, as Klaasen pointed out.

"I think it is massively due to the dew that falls at night that changes the wicket completely," he said.

"I think the way we actually batted tonight, it's a good way to chase a total. Keep up with the rate and keep up with Duckworth-Lewis-(Stern). That just gave us small targets. When to go, when not to go, it is about setting small targets and it is maybe something to think about going forward," he added.

Talking about soaking the pressure, the 'keeper-batsman said, "That's great fun. But in that moment you don't usually think how fun it is. Next ball you think where it is going, so need to figure couple of plans and areas where to hit, try to figure out where he is going to bowl to."

Klaasen has progressed quickly in international cricket after he was called up to the ODI squad in Quinton de Kock's absence owing to injury. It has been down to two match-winning knocks from him that South Africa have beaten India twice in eight matches during this limited-overs' leg of the tour.

However, Klaasen opined that de Kock doesn't have to look over his shoulder just yet.

"No, not at all," he said, about replacing de Kock. "I think he is a world-class player. And our change room definitely misses him, especially top of the order. I don't think he has anything to worry about yet."

If you look at Quinny, AB (de Villiers) and Faf (du Plessis) and with Temba (Bavuma) coming back as well, they are world class players. So, in some sort, to put my name in that list as well, it is definitely a very important stage of my career to put myself on the map or in this setup," he added.

The finale will be played at Newlands, Cape Town on Saturday, with the series pegged at 1-1.

"There is a massive gap between international cricket and our domestic cricket. I know on Saturday, India will come up with new plans and the education will be good as well. On Saturday, I need to see what their plans are and see if I can counter it," Klaasen signed off.

Updated Date: Feb 22, 2018







Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4397 116
2 South Africa 3712 106
3 England 4722 105
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 Australia 3663 102
6 Sri Lanka 3668 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6918 126
2 India 7000 121
3 New Zealand 4803 112
4 South Africa 4985 111
5 Pakistan 4370 102
6 Australia 3980 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 4979 138
2 India 5064 127
3 Australia 2953 118
4 England 2586 118
5 New Zealand 2803 112
6 South Africa 2334 111