Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Gauteng [South Africa], September 16 (ANI): South Africa's explosive batter Heinrich Klaasen opened up about the influence of former dynamic Proteas batter Ab de Villiers had over his career.

Klaasen has showcased an incredible form in white-ball cricket this year. In 10 ODIs for SA this year, he has scored 521 runs in nine innings at an average of 65.12 and a strike rate of above 155. He has two centuries and a fifty, with the best score of 174.

His true potential was on exhibition in their fourth ODI against Australia on Friday as he scored 174 from merely 83 balls to power his side to a total of 416/5.

His explosive knock was graced with 13 fours and as many sixes. Australia fell short of their target by a massive 164-run margin.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Klaasen discussed how his role model, AB de Villiers's game had an influence on him.

"You look up to some role models and you want to be like them - like AB de Villiers. You want to play all the shots but the genius behind guys like AB was knowing when to play them. For me, I explored a lot with it and it didn't work. It was about maturing into my game and knowing my options are," Klaasen said.

He further went on to talk about the changes he had to make in his game after getting dropped in 2021.

"What's changed in my career is that I am playing every ball as it is and for me to stay in that mindset. I don't recap what I have done the previous ball or think of what I might do the next ball," Klaasen said.

"The coaches said to me, 'You are using too many options. Let's limit yourself'. I am batting within myself at the start to make sure I get a good platform, and then I can just react to every ball: stand still, watch the ball and wherever I need to hit it. My body will take over and just react. It took me a couple of months to get back to my best and a lot of hard work," Klaasen signed off saying. He will be back in action against Australia in the ODI series decider on Sunday. (ANI)

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