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Ken Borland

What Rossouw has, you can’t buy in the shops

Posted on September 06, 2022 by Ken

You can’t buy experience, so the saying goes, and the sort of talent and skill Rilee Rossouw can bring to the Proteas team is also not available in the shops and South Africa captain David Miller said he is delighted to have the left-handed powerhouse back in the squad for the first T20 against England in Bristol on Wednesday night.

The 32-year-old Rossouw is poised to play for the Proteas for the first time since October 2016. The Grey College product, swift of foot and hand, then signed a Kolpak contract with Hampshire and has made his dashing mark in T20 tournaments around the world. He has been especially successful since joining Somerset for this year’s T20 Blast, lashing 623 runs at an average of 47 and a strike-rate of 192.

“It’s great to have Rilee back, we began our professional careers around the same time back in the day,” Miller said on Tuesday. “The team is right behind him, he has immense experience from playing in leagues around the world.

“He’s also spent a few years in England and it’s great to have that local knowledge for this series. He has a good head on his shoulders and he’s a matchwinner.

“He’s a lot stronger since I last played with him. He’s a seriously good player. A very relaxed guy who takes everything in his stride, but really competitive and fiery on the field. I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him again,” Miller said.

With Temba Bavuma unable to take the reins due to his elbow injury, Miller will captain South Africa for the second series, having led for two matches against Pakistan in 2019. The Proteas won that home rubber 2-1, with Miller commanding a largely second-string squad. Only Hendricks, Van der Dussen, Klaasen, Phehlukwayo and Shamsi are still in the picture.

In those games Miller learnt the importance of staying in contact with his bowlers when T20 inevitably gets hectic.

“It can get a little crazy,” Miller admitted. “It’s about having clear plans. You have to learn pretty quickly our there, it’s about knowing what my bowlers are like, what I want and what they want to do.

“It’s about being well-prepared and you have to trust the bowlers to execute their skills, you can’t control everything as a captain. I do have that trust, so it’s just about executing at the right time.

“In the last year-and-a-half, we’ve got our squad together and we’re pretty comfortable. England have a serious team, but us too. It’s about who does the right things at the right time.

“We’ve played some really good cricket lately and we feel confident. We’re definitely taking this series very seriously so we can continue our momentum heading for the World Cup,” Miller said.

The match starts at 7.30pm SA time.

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