Hendricks in the pink after beating rain‚ run rate and Pakistan
The Wanderers will be dressed up in various shades of pink on Sunday for the fourth ODI and so will Reeza Hendricks after his calculated match-winning assault against Pakistan on Friday.
Hendricks‚ who came in at first drop as South Africa attempted to chase 318 at SuperSport Park on Friday evening‚ made an unbeaten 83 off 90 balls to help the Proteas secure a 13-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method as rain cut short proceedings.
Hendricks will again be required to bat in the top as South Africa will attempt to seal the series in one of their favourite fixtures but is happy to contribute in any role that’s asked of him.
In a World Cup year‚ every game counts and so does each run from a selection perspective.
“Whereever they want me to bat‚ I'll bat‚ to be honest‚ but in the top three is generally where I bat – but I'm quite comfortable with any role I'm given‚” Hendricks said.
“I'm happy to have contributed in this game but I'm definitely not looking too far ahead. There's the series at hand and we need to take it game by game.
“This is another opportunity and I'm happy to have contributed. I'm not looking too far ahead.”
South Africa found themselves in a pressured chase‚ albeit on a perfect batting strip‚ but scoreboard pressure is a different beast altogether.
Hendricks and his captain Faf du Plessis dealt with it very well and actually went ahead of the DLS par score before the second rain break ended proceedings.
Hendricks said the prior World Cup experience in the team is a necessity but a new path also has to be furrowed.
Hendricks also said Friday's game was a lesson in how to deal with pressure.
“It's good that it's happening because these are the kind of challenges we need before a World Cup‚ so we can test ourselves in these games and see if we can chase these totals in pressure moments leading up to the World Cup.
“The pressure right now isn’t as much but having the confidence of knowing we’ve done it now can work on a bigger stage‚” Hendricks said.
“There are guys who are experienced and have played in a few World Cups but those World Cups are behind us.
“With the leadership‚ we’re trying to approach it differently‚ take things as they come and try to build and learn series by series and game by game.
“I think that’s what we’re doing at the moment and we’re on the right track.”
The Proteas fielding left a lot to be desired on Friday with five dropped catches. Two players who received lives were Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam.
They went on to top score for the visitors and those margins of error are often punished at the highest level. Hendricks‚ who also had the double whammy of his first Wanderers ODI being a Pink Day fixture‚ said they'll have to improve in that department.
“You mentioned we didn't field well but we’ve put in a lot of hard work. Fielding coach Justin Ontong has worked well with us but this game was one of those bad days‚” Hendricks said.
“A score of 320‚ though‚ was par on that wicket and we were comfortable going about the chase because we knew if we went into the first 10 overs with wickets in hand‚ we could get that total.
“I am excited to play in my first pink ODI and it’s going to be a big game with the series on the line. If we win that game‚ we close off the series.
“It’s going to be a big game for us and for me personally and I’m exciting and looking forward to the game.”