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Ken Borland

De Bruyn unfazed by chilling start to his Test career 0

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Ken


Hamilton is by no means as far down south as you can get in New Zealand, but it is still a rather cold, desolate place to make your Test debut, especially when you’re batting out of position and have to come out and open on the first morning in the typically damp, swing-friendly conditions found in that country.

There are many who believe Theunis de Bruyn was not given the best chance to succeed in his first Test back in March, scoring a three-ball duck in the first innings and then being run out for 12 in the second after a horrible mix-up with Hashim Amla, but the elegant right-hander says he was unfazed by it all and grateful that the chance came at all.

“The message I was sent was that the selectors wanted me to play, although obviously it was out of position. But I started my franchise career as an opener and as a number three batsman you face the new ball sometimes anyway. Obviously I was disappointed with how it went, but when I get to England, which is a big series, at least I have already played Test cricket.

“So I think it was worth it. Any debut is difficult with all the emotions of your dream coming true, singing the anthems, and then immediately going in on a green pitch. So it will only get easier in terms of emotion, if I play again hopefully I can just focus on watching the ball and making runs,” De Bruyn said.

“I’ll bat anywhere for the Proteas and I truly believe I can be a good opener. People chat about me being a middle-order batsman, but in my opinion, three or four is part of the top-order and you have to adapt your game to batting at 150 for one or 30 for three. It’s about switching your mind on.

‘So I’m not fazed about my debut, you never really start where you want to in Test cricket, you have to earn that right. So I’ll play where they need me,” the successful Knights captain added.

The whole brouhaha over the 24-year-old De Bruyn’s first Test threatens to obscure the positive news that he enjoyed a tremendous season, averaging 57.76 as he led the Knights to the Sunfoil Series title.

“All this focus on my debut suggests I had an horrendous season and I know with the media here that you’re a hero one day and zero the next, it’s part of professional sport. But I left my family behind in Pretoria to play for a new franchise, I won a trophy and made runs, and in two out of three formats I made my debut for South Africa, so it was a wonderful season. And it was just my third as a professional, I’m still young,” De Bruyn, who likes nothing better than to get out into the bush, pointed out.

‘Sharks must stick with Gold because nothing else is suitable’ – Venter 0

Posted on June 29, 2015 by Ken

Sharks consultant Brendan Venter has supported Gary Gold continuing as the coach of the team for the Currie Cup as well as next year’s Super Rugby competition, saying that if they can’t find anyone suitable then they must rather stick with what is already in place.

The Sharks confirmed at the weekend that Gold will be the head coach for the Currie Cup, with Sean Everitt and Ryan Strudwick as his assistants.

Strudwick, a former Sharks forward, recently steered the University of KwaZulu-Natal to the Varsity Shield title and replaces Brad Macleod-Henderson, who resigned two weeks ago.

“We had approached and considered a replacement for Brad, but we have, after consultation with all stakeholders including the team, decided that it will be in the best interest of the side and for continuity for me to oversee the campaign with the assistance of Sean and Ryan,” Gold said in a statement released by the Sharks.

“The Sharks need security and longevity in their coaching structure and they can’t afford to get the coach wrong this time. So if Gary has to coach Currie Cup as well, then so be it, if there’s no-one else suitable,” Venter said.

The 1995 World Cup winner said it was even more important that the Sharks get their structures right.

“The Sharks need to create a more sustainable long-term structure. They need to develop their own young players and not depend on signing everyone in the Free State every second year. They need to develop that pipeline from the U19s to the academy, through to the U21s and then Vodacom Cup.

“Gary needs to do that and every day that is delayed is a setback. I will be there as a consultant, working with John Smit and Gary, giving advice and creating a debate,” Venter said.




















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