Phehlukwayo pays tribute to hard-working Pretorius

Andile Phehlukwayo of South Africa celebrates taking the wicket of Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between South Africa and Bangladesh at The Oval on June 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

They are similar bowlers but Andile Phehlukwayo says he is in awe of the remarkable control Dwaine Pretorius brings to the attack following his man of the match bowling performance against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.

While Phehlukwayo has more variations that he can utilise, Pretorius’s approach of just bowling wicket-to-wicket and hitting the seam netted him three for 25 and the man of the match award against Sri Lanka.

“I’m really happy for Dwaine because of the work he has put in. He hits the most balls, he leaves the nets last and the boys sometimes have to wait for him. It was an unbelievable contribution that really changed the flow of the game.

“We push each other hard, which is wonderful because it helps us to both show what we’re capable of. Having him also in the attack doesn’t affect me personally, it just changes the dynamic of the attack. On a pitch that’s got a little something in it, his line-and-length is unbelievable and he presents the seam well and is a good reader of the game. When the pitch suits him, he’s a very important weapon to have,” Phehlukwayo said.

The 23-year-old Dolphins all-rounder also backed his colleague Lungi Ngidi to come back strong after the dropped fast bowler received a subtle warning from captain Faf du Plessis that he needs to work harder on his fitness.

“Lungi has just been unlucky at times. Pat Cummins has also been an example of that. He was injury prone for quite a while before hitting his peak with Australia and he’s now showing unbelievable skills and talent. Lungi is working hard on his fitness and he will come right,” Phehlukwayo said.

As for his own little naughty delight – dabbling in social media – Phehlukwayo said he has been temporarily warned off being a strong presence on those tough streets.

“I’m staying a little bit slightly off social media right now. I’m staying in my own zone,” he smiled. “But it’s been hurtful for us losing all the time and there’s more importance to a loss in a tournament like this. It’s difficult in a tournament because you keep having to change game-plans and train differently. It’s been quite tricky. It’s my first World Cup and I’ve found it really tough, but you’ve got to adjust.

“Our performances have not been ideal. We haven’t scored the runs we wanted to and with the ball we have not restricted the batsmen as much as you would like. We’ve been just short at times and we’ve felt that we’re not far off, but we just kept losing in those vital patches of the game. So it was really nice to see our performance against Sri Lanka. We needed it after a few sad results,” Phehlukwayo said.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print