Heinrich Klaasen, South Africa’s T20I captain for the series against Pakistan, has refuted the ‘second-string’ tag for the Proteas’ inexperienced T20I outfit.
A majority of South Africa’s top players have headed back home after the two-match Test series. Only four from the Test squad will play the T20Is. The 20-man T20I squad will be captained by Heinrich Klaasen for the first time.
Speaking at a virtual press conference ahead of the T20I series, Heinrich Klaasen refused to term this South African outfit as a ‘second-string’ side. He emphasized that it was necessary for the senior players to rest. Klaasen also pointed out that it is a golden opportunity for some of the youngsters to showcase their potential.
“We are by no means a second string side. Yes we do have a couple of guys missing but the way we are playing during Covid, guys need rest as well and this also gives other players an opportunity to showcase their skills. They deserve it, they have been doing well for couple of years now and so we are definitely looking to win the three-game [T20I] series. We are going to play to the best of our ability,” said Heinrich Klaasen.
Heinrich Klaasen missed numerous international matches after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last year. The 29-year-old also spoke on his recovery process and how he is now looking forward to playing cricket again for his country.
“It’s been a different season for me. I think I have played four games so far, which is very frustrating. I have finally recovered now, Covid hit me quite hard. It has been a tough few months, since I have tested positive. I have been working hard, it’s difficult to tell you about my form but I will guess we will know after the series. I’m looking forward to it.”
The three-match T20I series commences on February 11. All matches are scheduled to be held at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.