Theunis de Bruyn wants to make the No.3 spot his own one day
The Proteas No.3 batter scored his maiden hundred in the second innings of the second Test.
Updated - Jul 25, 2018 4:34 pm
In a Test match where the most likely outcome for his team was disappointment, Theunis de Bruyn produced a fighting knock. He walked out to bat in the ninth over of the innings and was there till the 85th. Though his maiden Test hundred on a testing Colombo wicket against an aggressive spin-bowling attack didn’t make a winning impact for his team, de Bruyn has certainly made a statement.
In the two Tests and four innings, he was the first South African batsman to score a half century. The fact that he converted it into a hundred when the likes of Hashim Amla, skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock departed with single digit scores makes it stand out. The Proteas were defeated by 199 runs in the second Test and conceded the series 2-0 but the 25-year-old has certainly put up a claim for the No.3 spot.
It was on the back of his partnership with Temba Bavuma who scored the second half century in the innings that South Africa managed to put up their best total in the two Tests. His was a display of character more than anything else. Playing his sixth Test, de Bruyn concentrated hard, used the right technique to tackle the spin challenge and showed how application can make up for the loose ends.
No.3 makes a difference
“For me, it does make a difference batting at No. 3,” said de Bruyn as quoted on Gulf News. “I’ve batted there my whole career, even as a youngster. The waiting game when you’re batting at six and seven mentally drains you,” he added.
He is now wanting to get the opportunity to prove himself at No.3 as this is the spot he relishes to bat the most. “I don’t know, I’m not used to it. But I wanted to do really well batting at No. 3. It’s a place I really cherish and I’d like to make it my own one day if I get more opportunities,” the Pretoria cricketer stated.
If starts were to determine how a career shaped up de Bruyn had the worst possible start. He bagged a duck against New Zealand at Hamilton in 2017, in the following four matches the team used him as low in the order as No. 6 and No. 7 and his best score was 48 vs England at Lord’s.
“It’s been quite a journey. It’s been tough. My international career didn’t start the way I wanted it to,” de Bruyn said.
“But I just had a bit of calmness landing in the airport here in Sri Lanka. As we drove to the hotel, I looked at the ocean and said to myself: ‘Yep, there could be something special.’ As a team, it wasn’t special, but for me it was special.”
Spin challenge in the subcontinent
He had to use his feet really well to tackle the spinners. It is totally different how a batsman has to deal with the spinners in the subcontinent than back home in South Africa.
“Back home you don’t need the sweep, because we play on bouncier wickets and you can play spinners down the ground,” he said.
“But here, you know they’re bowling in good areas, and the wickets don’t bounce as much. The sweep is a better option,” the youngster concluded.