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Cricket | SA Team

FEATURE: Wiese adds to SA’s options



David Wiese is the only new cap in the Proteas’ two limited-overs squads for the tour of Sri Lanka with the Nashua Titan the latest all-rounder off South Africa’s multi-skilled production line.

South Africa’s all-rounder stocks may not be as well served as the days of Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock and Nicky Boje but Wiese will form part of a twenty20 squad that also includes Ryan McLaren and JP Duminy while Rory Kleinveldt, Chris Morris and Wayne Parnell are all bowlers who are more than useful batsmen.

Wiese is a big-hitting lower-order batsman and useful seamer, skills that South Africa’s Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis, Wiese’s teammate at the Titans, is grateful for.

“From a personal point of view it is very important to have a dangerous batter coming in at seven. There are so many games that get won or lost in that time. During my time with Chennai (in the Indian Premier League) I found that a very strong batting line-up does help you more often than not,” said du Plessis.

“That is purely where Dave comes in. He is a very dangerous hitter of the ball, he hits it far and it is a good time for him to come in to the mix. There is a lot of time before the World Cup next year, so it is a good opportunity for him to see what he can do.

“He is a good player. I have played a lot of cricket with him, I know what he can do and he is an all-rounder. The more all-rounders you have in a team the better options you have as a captain,” he added.

Wiese has made a name for himself in South African domestic cricket but he showed what he could do on a bigger stage with a devastating knock of 61 off a mere 28 balls during the Titans’ Champions League Twenty20 semifinal loss against the Sydney Sixers at SuperSport Park in 2012.

Wiese struck six fours and four sixes during his innings while the massive six he struck over deep midwicket off Sydney Sixers medium-pacer Moises Henriques was a particularly brutal shot.

Wiese admits that the innings against Sydney was a turning point in his career, but it was tinged with regret as the Titans failed to make the final.

“I suppose it was a bit of a turning point in my career, to take my opportunity against a quality side like the Sydney Sixers,” he told supersport.com.

“It (the innings) was just one of those things and it was a bit of a blur and instincts just took over. It was nice to contribute even though we didn’t get over the line into the final,” he added.

The 28-year-old Wiese has played in 47 T20 matches with a top score of 71 not out and an average of 30.27 while is strike-rate is an eye-popping 172.46 and he has scored three fifties.

He has taken 21 T20 wickets with a best of 5-19 at an average of 26.09 while conceding 7.64 runs to the over.

Wiese admits that he has not sat down with Proteas coach Russell Domingo to find out exactly what his role will be in the South Africa T20 set-up but does not expect his role to differ from what he does for the Titans.

“It took a bit of time (for his call-up) to sink in but now I’m just excited to see what touring with an international team is all about. Russell only phoned me the day before the team was announced and just said we would have a chat closer to the time.

“Becoming one of the best finishers in South Africa is something that I have worked on. It is something that we work on at the Titans with Albie (Morkel) and myself,” he explained.

Wiese showed during last year’s domestic RAM SLAM T20 competition what he is capable of by striking three consecutive sixes off what turned out to be the last three balls of the game as the Titans beat the Sunfoil Dolphins in a group match.

However, his bowling last year was hampered by a side-strain that he picked up during the four-day competition. But he said he is 100 per cent healthy now and is looking forward to grabbing his chance with the national side.

“It is nice to have got my foot in the door in the T20 side but I still have aspirations of playing ODI cricket and test cricket so hopefully it can be a stepping stone for me,” he said.

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