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Ken Borland

Verreynne does not resemble De Kock, but he proved he belongs at highest level

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

Kyle Verreynne is not going to resemble Quinton de Kock nor necessarily fit the perception of what some people believe a Test batsman should look like, but the 24-year-old proved in no uncertain fashion that he belongs at the highest level as his magnificent maiden Proteas century put South Africa in command of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Monday.

Verreynne has had a tough time at Test level, scoring just 112 runs in his first eight innings, but he more than doubled that with his brilliant 136 not out in the second innings at Hagley Oval. Going back to the batsman he was before his elevation to Test level provided the breakthrough for the Western Province wicketkeeper/batsman.

“It’s been challenging mentally and Test cricket is the toughest format,” Verreynne said. “My first three series have been on challenging pitches, the wickets for the India series were the toughest I’ve ever batted on and the first Test here was difficult too.

“So you have a lot of doubts and you read what people write about your technique and it’s a challenge. It’s important to keep your self-belief and back your preparation and what you have done in the past.

“In the build-up to this game I did quite a lot of work on my technique and I felt in a really good space, it was just about getting mentally right. I’ve gone back to what I was doing for the last couple of years.

“Footwork has never been a strong point of mine, for me it’s more about my contact points and playing the ball late. Fortunately it worked out and hopefully I’m through that tough phase in my career now,” Verreynne said.

Verreynne praised Kagiso Rabada for his ferocious innings of 47 off 34 balls after lunch on the fourth day that saw the rampant duo hammer 69 runs in eight overs. Not only did their efforts allow South Africa to declare at tea with a lead of 425, but the momentum was carried through into the field, Rabada roaring in with the ball and dismissing both New Zealand openers in his first two overs.

“The third evening was a tricky period for myself and Wiaan Mulder, the stage of the game was such that we just had to get through, and the first 30 minutes this morning were the same, and then we could show more intent.

“KG said he felt pretty good and he would stick around for me to get my hundred. But then it looked like he just couldn’t miss the ball and his innings was a big factor in the energy we took into our bowling,” Verreynne said.

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