Exclusive: Hendricks ready to meet Proteas’ expectations

The composition of South Africa’s squad for November’s Twenty20 Internationals against Australia suggests the uncapped Reeza Hendricks will walk straight into the playing XI.

Tuesday saw Hendricks named in a relatively new-look squad, which is sans the services of the rested Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. The bowling department, meanwhile, will be without pace aces Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

With the left-handed Rilee Rossouw, recalled Farhaan Behardien, stand-in skipper JP Duminy and the attacking David Miller bound to the the middle order, Hendricks will likely open the batting alongside the enterprising Quinton de Kock.

“I’m very overwhelmed, I certainly didn’t expect this. It’s good news, though, so I’m pretty excited. I was practising with the Knights, preparing for our upcoming match, when our captain Werner Coetsee called me over and showed me his phone, which had a tweet from Cricket South Africa that was announcing my selection,” Hendricks told Cricket365.

“That’s where I saw the news for the first time. I didn’t get a call from selection convener Andrew Hudson or anything like that. I’m going to take it as it comes. Hopefully I can get the opportunity and take that chance with both hands.

“Obviously, going up front, at the top of the order, up front, with whoever it is, to put in good performances. Hopefully that will come off for me.”

Having secured a superb stretch of form for South Africa A against Australia A and India A in Darwin recently, the talented 25-year-old is eager to meet the expectations of Hudson and company.

“I don’t actually know what they’re anticipating exactly, but I don’t think it’s much different to what I have been doing for the Knights. I will be expected to do the same for the Proteas team. There is nothing necessarily to change. I’m willing to do what I need to do,” he added.

The Australians and South Africans will meet for three T20Is – at the Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Stadium Australia in Sydney – on 5, 7 and 9 November respectively.

Jonhenry Wilson