Dashing Protea de Bruyn set for first Test

December 11, 2022 08:41 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Theunis de Bruyn regards playing Test cricket in Australia as "the Holy Grail" for a South African cricketer and his swashbuckling 88 off 86 balls against a Cricket Australia XI showed why he is ready to end a three-year Test exile.

The 30-year-old played the last of his 12 Tests in 2019 but put himself in an excellent position to be selected for the first Test at the Gabba with an aggressive knock at Allan Border Field.

"We haven't selected the first eleven yet but in saying that, from the previous times I have played I have matured - not just as a cricketer but as a person," de Bruyn said.

"Your perspective of life changes a bit. If I get the opportunity to play I really want to take it in and enjoy the occasion.

"As a child dreaming of playing for the Proteas, the Holy Grail is playing a Test series Down Under, so to be here is a privilege on its own.

"It is almost like wanting to play for the Springboks in rugby and you want to play against the All Blacks. It is the same thing for us as cricketers back home."

After the 2-1 series loss in England, it was clear to South Africa captain Dean Elgar his team needed batters who could occupy the crease and show their skill in Test cricket.

De Bruyn did that in the second innings against the Cricket Australia attack, playing strokes to all parts of the field in an innings punctuated with 13 boundaries. That included one monster six off paceman Blake Edwards that soared over deep mid-wicket.

He said he was well aware some of the batters on previous tours had been back-up players but took their chance when "someone got injured and then they played".

"JP Duminy made runs (in 2008-09 ) and it was the start of his career. It is almost like the last few tours Down Under, there has been opportunity for some new blood within the team," he said.

"The batsmen that are here, maybe not at international level everybody, but they are experienced and have failed, succeeded and gone through that rollercoaster ride and understand what it is all about."


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