Rassie van der Dussen admits he expected Cricket South Africa (CSA) to shake things up following a disappointing showing at the World Cup.
Perhaps the biggest of those being the parachuting of Enoch Nkwe into the role as the new interim director of the Proteas.
Speaking at the Castle Larger Heartbeat of the Nation Launch, where the Springboks beat Argentina 23-18 in the Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld this past weekend, Van der Dussen expressed his excitement at working with Nkwe.
That’s not really surprising given that the 30-year-old batting stalwart, who’s made a magnificent start to his ODI career, is one of the key players at the Highveld Lions, where Nkwe is head coach.
“There were bound to be changes in the coaching staff after the World Cup. I’m excited to be working with Enoch again. Having worked with him at Lions for the past year, I can say he’s really professional. He’s a meticulous planner and I’m excited to see what he brings to the Proteas setup,” said Van der Dussen, who’s also the new national T20 vice-captain for next month’s tour to India.
“As players we know that we didn’t perform the way we wanted in England. We’ll be desperate to put that right.”
Firmly established in the white-ball sides – he averages in excess of an incredible 74 – Van der Dussen admits that he’s very keen to expand his repertoire to Test cricket.
“I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed not to make the Test squad but I obviously have dreams and ambitions of playing in the format. But the guys who are present there are there for a reason and are all capable players. I’ll keep giving it my all and try to improve and if the time comes, hopefully I’ll be ready,” said the batsman.
For now, his focus is squarely on next year’s ICC World T20 in Australia.
“In a years’ time we’ll be playing a T20 World Cup and that will be an opportunity for us to make things right that didn’t go right this year. The T20 is a different game so there’ll be some different personnel. Nonetheless, we’ll take the lessons that we learnt at this World Cup and definitely apply them. We are playing a lot of T20 cricket and it is a good way for us to prepare and make sure that next year this time we are ready.”
Van der Dussen is also one of the many sportsmen to pledge their support for the Springboks, who are days away from departing for Japan to launch a very realistic tilt at World Cup glory.
“The Springboks are in a very good mental space. Most of the players are fit and the coaching staff looks very solid. I expect them to do really well, there are a lot of people at home who will support them. If they can stick to what they have been doing to date, there’s no reason for them to worry.”