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Ken Borland



Pretorius focusing on the long game & Sunfoil Series 0

Posted on October 20, 2017 by Ken

 

Highveld Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius faces stiff competition from all the other all-rounders currently in the Proteas picture, but the 28-year-old says he is going to channel his focus into the Sunfoil Series and try to separate himself from the rest on the basis of his batting.

Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander and Pretorius have all played for the Proteas across the three different formats in the last year, but Pretorius is the only one who has a first-class batting average of more than 40 (42.46).

Last season was his most productive with the bat as he averaged 52.40 in the Sunfoil Series and he is eager to continue that form when the four-day competition starts next week, with the Lions opening their campaign on Tuesday by hosting the Warriors at the Wanderers.

“I would love to play more cricket for the Proteas, especially Test cricket, but I’m just going to concentrate on the Sunfoil Series and hope I perform there. I don’t know Ottis Gibson at all or what sort of players he likes, only time will tell. So I’ll just go back to my processes, if I get those right then I can perform and from there I hope I get selected.

“I was quite pleased with last year’s four-day competition, I batted up the order at six or seven and I was under pressure, basically coming in at 60 for four about a dozen times! But I really liked the opportunity to bat longer, for 80 overs, because normally I come in needing to take the game forward.

“I think I’m more of a 50/50 all-rounder, maybe even more of a batting all-rounder, than a bowling all-rounder, so I want to put myself in a different bracket and replicate what I did in last season’s Sunfoil Series, but keep the same bowling standard. It’s unbelievable to have four other quality all-rounders around and I am close to all of them as mates. But I’m not competing against them, I’m competing against myself because we’re all different cricketers,” Pretorius said.

The Randfontein-born Pretorius, whose consistent accuracy and skilful use of the ball are his greatest bowling attributes, believes the Lions have the resources to lift themselves from a fifth-place finish last season back into contenders for the Sunfoil Series title.

“Things are looking up and guys like Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks and Stephen Cook should know that they are close to the national side, so they don’t need any extra motivation. Beuran Hendricks, Omphile Ramela and Craig Alexander have come over to us and will add a lot of value.

“This year there’s competition for batting spots and the older guys know they have to perform or the younger batsmen will come for them. We’ve lost Temba Bavuma, but it doesn’t feel as much of a shock as it would have three years ago and Omphile will add a lot of stability,” Pretorius said.

https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-citizen-gauteng/20170916/282333975077119

Right attitude crucial in blustery East London 0

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Ken

 

A strong north-easterly wind was buffeting East London Golf Club yesterday on the eve of the Africa Open, with today’s first round of the European/Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned event likely to separate those golfers with the right attitude from those who approach the blustery conditions in negative fashion.

The wind is forecast to switch to a 35km/h south-westerly today, making much of the work done in the practice rounds irrelevant because the direction of the wind plays such a big part in how this short, old-style course plays.

But Keith Horne, one of South Africa’s best players in the wind having grown up on the coast, says the right attitude will be crucial at East London Golf Club.

“I’m not as good in the wind as I used to be because I’ve lived in Joburg for the last 13 years, but I grew up on the coast and I have the technique and mindset to play in the wind. It’s mostly about mental preparation, if you come in with the wrong attitude and try and fight the wind, then you’re not going to do well. You’ve got to use it and accept it,” Horne said yesterday.

The 43-year-old Horne is a consistent performer in the Africa Open, but one poor round has normally let him down.

But he remains one of the strong local hopes in a tournament that has never been won by a foreigner: since 2008 the champions have been Shaun Norris, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen (twice), Darren Fichardt and Thomas Aiken.

Norris and Fichardt are the only former winners in this week’s field, however, and it’s been an age since South African golfers found themselves so dominated at co-sanctioned events. Just two of the last six European Tour tournaments in this country have been won by locals, with Branden Grace’s cruise to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek adding to Aiken’s win in last year’s Africa Open.

And it is English golfers who have been leading the charge: Andy Sullivan is one of the favourites in East London after claiming back-to-back titles at the SA and Joburg Opens, Ross Fisher won the Tshwane Open and Danny Willett triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

Oliver Fisher is back at the Africa Open after losing to Aiken in a playoff last year, while David Howell and Simon Dyson bring considerable pedigree to the tournament as well.

Howell spoke about hanging on to Sullivan’s coat-tails and the 28-year-old is certainly the man of the moment.

“It’s been like a fairytale winning two so quickly, but I still have a lot to prove. I’m in a pretty good place, 58th in the world and the top 50 is obviously a nice carrot with qualification for the Masters,” Sullivan said yesterday.

Perhaps the best bet to maintain South Africa’s dominance at the Africa Open is Jaco van Zyl, who has previously chosen the tournament as his favourite summer event.

“I fell in love with this course because it offers a lot of risk and reward and a lot of options, but it punishes any wayward shots. When the wind is up, it tests every shot in the game and strategy is key,” Van Zyl said.

 



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