Brevis ready to unleash shotmaking against Australia
He is too polite to say it, but Dewald Brevis has grown tired of talking about himself and especially his potential.
He has shown it enough already, but questions will remain until he does it at the highest level. That will come this week, against an Australian team that, despite missing a few of its top players, has a natural tendency to search out the rookies in the opposition and make life as uncomfortable as possible.
“I know there will always be expectations and I like that, because then there is more reason to show who you are,” Brevis said.
The Proteas play their first match in five months on Wednesday when they face Mitchell Marsh’s Australians in the first of three T20 Internationals, all of which will be hosted at Kingsmead in Durban.
The 20-year-old Brevis has delivered at age group level most notably the 2022 Under-19 World Cup where he set a new aggregate mark for the tournament, breaking a record previously held by India’s Shikar Dhawan.
At senior level his most notable performance came for the Titans against the Free State Knights in the T20 Challenge where his innings of 162 off 57 balls earned worldwide acclaim. There followed contracts in various T20 Leagues around the world including the Indian Premier League, where he has interacted with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardene and Rohit Sharma.
This week brings a new challenge, with a spotlight much brighter than any point in his already-packed young career.
“I feel pressure, but I like it, and go head-on into the pressure. It’s how you deal with it, it’s about being yourself, enjoying the moment and trying not to think about it,” Brevis said.
He hopes that doing so will help him emerge from the shadow of one of his idols, AB de Villiers, to whom he has continuously been compared.
“I want people to get to know me as Dewald Brevis and see how I go about my things, and how to be an inspiration and an example for people.”
A dream of mine, from a very young age has come trueBrevis
Australia will be keen to see it too. The nature of the modern cricket calendar means their players are not seen as imposing as would have been the case 20 years ago. Brevis has spent a lot of time in the company of all-rounder Cameron Green, Jason Behrendorff and Tim David.
“You learn to form a team with them as you spend time with them, but where I am now [with the Proteas], you can feel, it’s your people, your core.
“The last few days have been amazing. A dream of mine, from a very young age has come true. It’s been wonderful to live out my dream with the team, so I couldn't ask for anything better.”
Kingsmead holds a special place in Brevis' heart, for it was at that historic venue, which will celebrate a century of hosting international matches during the series this week, where he watched the Proteas as a boy.
“We have pictures of me as a little boy watching the Proteas playing at Kingsmead, so it would be quite cool to make my debut there. I’ve got pictures with 'Quinny' [Quinton de Kock], and I was quite small,” he said.
Brevis will occupy a relatively new position in the middle order with Proteas coach Rob Walter believing his all-round shotmaking will prove beneficial.
“It’s a lot of new things but I enjoyed when I batted there for SA A in Sri Lanka. I want to be a person who can play all roles, so wherever I bat, whether I have to bowl, I want to give my best,” Brevis said.
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