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Heinrich Klaasen Reveals Proteas’ Secret Weapon: Ditching T20 Mindset On New York Pitch
By CricShots - Jun 11, 2024 5:49 pm
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South Africa emerged victorious in a low-scoring thriller against Bangladesh on Monday, June 10th. However, their win came after a struggle against a bowling-friendly pitch at the Nassau County Stadium in New York. Heinrich Klaasen, Player of the Match for his crucial knock of 46 runs, spoke about the unique approach the Proteas adopted to navigate the challenging conditions.

South Africa
South Africa team

“It’s almost a similar way that we bat in the middle or in a one-day game,” Klaasen revealed during the post-match press conference. He emphasized the stark contrast between their strategy and the typical aggressive batting style associated with T20 cricket. “So, our mindset is not even close to T20 cricket,” he continued. “You just want to get in and find a way to bat at a run a ball. And we know you’re one or two hits away just for going over the run a ball strike rate.”

Heinrich Klaasen referenced the previous match between India and Pakistan, highlighting that even established batting giants struggled to reach a score of 120 on this pitch.

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“That just means that we have to change our mindset completely,” he stressed. “You can’t just stand there and smack it all over the park.” This shift in mindset proved successful for the Proteas, as Klaasen and David Miller constructed a crucial partnership that laid the foundation for their victory. “So, myself and David in the middle, and that seemed to be working,” Klaasen said. He explained how they adopted a more ODI-style approach initially, before switching to a more aggressive T20 mode in the final overs.

Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen

While the batters were eager to move on from the challenging New York pitch, the bowlers, according to Klaasen, wouldn’t mind sticking around. However, Heinrich Klaasen was happy with the team’s performance and their preparation for the next stage of the competition.

“We’ve done our job that was the goal to win three out of three here,” he stated. He acknowledged the unexpected difficulty of their victories but emphasized the value of the experience gained. “We’ve dealt with pressure very well in this three games and it’s always good experience,” Heinrich Klaasen concluded.

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With three wins under their belt in New York, South Africa now head to St. Vincent for their next encounter against Nepal on June 15th. Their experience on this bowler-friendly pitch will undoubtedly be a valuable asset as they progress through the T20 World Cup.