South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, who is preparing for the upcoming T20I series against India, said on Monday that he would like to instill the legendary MS Dhoni’s composure and confidence. The South African made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings this year after joining the franchise for a base price of Rs 50 lakh. Pretorius has played just six games so far, scoring 44 runs and claiming six wickets with the best bowling figures of 2 for 30.
Despite the limited opportunities, Pretorius said his biggest win was to play alongside Dhoni. “Playing my first IPL was an amazing experience. It was one of my bucket list items and that also to get the chance to play for CSK, one of the most successful franchises. I loved every moment. You get a lot of responsibility as a player,” said the 33-year-old.
“I also really enjoyed playing under Dhoni and hitting with him. The brand equity he has in India just shows how great he is and what he’s done for the sport in this country. It was great to be there be a part of.”
“The most important thing I learned from him is how calm he is at the crease, the way he takes the pressure off himself and tries to put it on the bowler. He made me realize that in death it’s really the bowlers those are under pressure. It was a fresh mindset and also he doesn’t get too excited and is always optimistic.
“He believes he can do anything and I’m going to try to bring his composure and confidence into my game,” Pretorius added.
Asked about the series against India, Pretorius said it is a great opportunity for some South African players to cement their place in the national team ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. It would also be great to know (the strengths and weaknesses) of the Indian team going to the World Cup.
“A strong performance in this series is essential for players keeping the T20 World Cup in mind. India is a strong T20 side and if we do well in this series we can see ourselves as a strong contender,” he said.
“The performance in this series will go a long way to secure a spot in the World Cup.
Pretorius focuses on the series to establish itself as one of the best all-rounders in the world of cricket. “You test yourself as a player against some of the best T20 players in the world. Personally, I want to push myself and make a good impact for the team. Personally, I want to win the series going to the World Cup.
“I want to establish myself as a leading T20 all-rounder in this series going to the T20 World Cup,” he said.
The ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted by Australia from October 16 to November 13.
The T20 series of five matches between India and South Africa starts here on Thursday, followed by matches in Cuttack (June 12), Visakhapatnam (June 14), Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).
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