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Moving to my 'happy place'

I’m back in Cape Town and in one of my ‘happy places’. As mentioned before, I just love it down here and I also love playing test cricket here at Newlands.

On that note, Imari and I have actually decided that we would love to live in Cape Town, so in between my cricket commitments this week we’ve been looking at some property options. The idea would be to rent for the first year and then, if we’re both happy with living in Cape Town, look at buying something. Before you jump to conclusions, I’m not looking to leave the Titans in the short-term. As it is I spend such little time in Pretoria these days in between touring with the Proteas and I’m also not playing much for the Titans. However, I’m keen to stay with them for now although I might possibly look to play full-time in Cape Town in the future.

It’s been a great week with regards the weather, so we’ve had some good, hard training, and even though most of you will read this with the test already under way, I can tell you that we’ll be going into the test match well prepared and certainly not under-estimating Pakistan. From a personal point of view, I’ve been feeling really good in the nets, and hope to get the opportunity to cash in.

I have seen some reports saying the Newlands wicket is a little dry, and could possibly play into the hands of the Pakistanis, but there’s really nothing we can do about that. We haven’t dictated what type of wicket we want, and we’re happy to play the conditions as we get them. I thought the Wanderers wicket was an excellent wicket, with a lot in it for the new ball bowlers, but then scoring opportunities when the ball became softer. Obviously we don’t want to bring their spinners into the game too much, so I hope the wicket doesn’t become a dust bowl.

I’ve said before that Pakistan are an excellent side and we are definitely expecting a stronger performance from them. I just think they were blown away by an unbelievable spell of fast bowling by Dale Steyn in the first test. But, they will be more settled this time and we are going to have to be sharp. Certainly, we are going to have to work a lot harder for those 20 wickets, and possibly bowl for longer spells. Then with the bat we just have to put the runs on the board for our bowlers to bowl at. It’s that simple.

One thing I’ve been asked in the last couple of days is my thoughts on JP Duminy coming back from injury. As I said to the journalist, I’m really chuffed he’s getting there, as he’s a fantastic player and someone who makes our squad stronger. I don’t mind the competition for places. If I play well, I’ll stay in the team, and that’s how it should be for everyone. JP is a good mate and teammate, so we’re all looking forward to having him back.

Lastly, just a quick word on AB’s bachelor party, which I attended last weekend. It was quite small and certainly a lot quieter than others I’ve been to. But, what was really nice is that it was just AB’s family, guys from both families actually, and then some of his closest friends that were there. We headed off to the bush, past Legend Golf & Safari Resort, which is in the Waterberg. The guys just relaxed, had a few beers, braaied, played some golf and went on a couple of game drives. It was a great weekend and a good, relaxing time away ahead of what is an important test match.

Until next week.

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