Amla isn’t scoring fifties with the consistency and glee he’s normally demonstrated. Faf’s injured and is out of the series. When will he be back, we don’t know yet. de Kock seemed out of his self-imposed exile from runs when he hit that classy fifty against Sri Lanka and then got out cheaply the next game. Miller bats too deep to always come up with a handy knock.
What’s more- de Villiers is no longer around.
That leaves South Africa in the hunt for new, promising names that can ferry the ship and also steady it when it encounters hostile waters.
Is that guy Reeza Hendricks?
So who exactly is the new kid on the block?
Reeza Raphael Hendricks is not exactly a household name when it comes to the Proteas. Born in Kimberley in the Cape Province of South Africa, he has been a fringe player since his T-20 debut in November 2014, against the mighty Australians.
With a moderate average of 22 in T-20’s, he was never really considered an ODI prospect in the strong Proteas batting order boasting the likes of Devilliers, Amla, de Kock, du Plessis, Duminy and Miller.
With the recent retirement of Devilliers before the Sri Lanka tour, the upcoming Proteas star Aiden Markram got a chance to prove his mettle in the ODI format. Unfortunately for him, his fortunes dwindled on the turning Lankan tracks.
With this came an opportunity for Reeza and he made his ODI debut in last Sunday’s ODI. And what a debut it was with him scoring a ton, only the 3rd South African after Colin Ingram and Temba Bavuma and 14th overall to achieve this feat.
Coming in to bat at no. 3 after the early loss of de Kock, he showed that the track was almost similar to what he got at home with his effortless strokes. The Lankan bowlers were rather bewildered with the way this gentleman batted and really didn’t know what to do. Striking 2 good partnerships with Amla and Duminy, Reeza showed that he has always belonged in this arena.
His 88-ball century was the fastest by a batsman on ODI debut and he was named the man of the match. South Africa aren’t accustomed to seeing highs in the contemporary structure nowadays.
But this was a massive high. Probably, something that none saw coming. Truth be told, with blokes with Makram and Reeza Hendricks out there, the portrait of a consummately competitive unit looks promising.
It reaffirms the belief that the youth is around. And also suggests that in it lays the spark of the Protea fire.
Now, with the ODI series in the bag for the Proteas after a dismal performance in the Tests, a 5-0 thrashing of the Lankans in the ODIs seems on the horizon.
Should that happen, it’s gonna signal a massive turnaround for a side that capitulated minus any display of spine in the longer format. What a turnaround would that be?
Well, at least one can hope.
Needless to say, we continue to get these young rising talents who in their own way are making this gentleman’s game even more beautiful.
All hail Reeza!