Rossouw’s return gives more strength to SA batting

Rilee Rossouw, the batter who smacked the Bangladesh bowlers to all parts of the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 27 in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, couldn’t break into South Africa’s Test squad after scoring consistently by averaging 40 plus in the country’s domestic first class season for three years in a row.

A frustrated Rossouw, who played for South Africa in the white ball cricket from 2014-16 including the 50-over World Cup in 2015 and the T20 World Cup in India one year later, signed the Kolpak deal with English county Hampshire in 2017 and lost the chance to represent his country again.

But things changed around once the no-deal Brexit happened and he returned to play cricket in South Africa.

The 33-year-old Bloemfontein-born hard-hitting batsman, who followed up his century against India at Indore in the three-match bilateral T20 series with the blistering innings of 109 in just 56 balls against Bangladesh, was also recalled to the South African national white ball team.

In the intervening time he missed five years of international cricket and as some sort of a vengeance has struck back to back T20 International hundreds, with tons scored in the last match at Indore and in Sydney against Bangladesh.

Roussouw will be one of the key batsmen from the South African ranks who is expected to be discussed threadbare by the Indian team’s think tank going into tomorrow’s match here in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Rossouw, who had also played in the 2008 under 19 World Cup along with India’s Virat Kohli, rated the century that he scored against India earlier this month as pretty special.

“It’s difficult to say which one is more special. I think they both really are close to my heart,” Rossouw said after lashing 8 sixes and 7 fours to destroy the Bangladesh bowling attack.

The South African, who started his ODI career poorly with a string of four ducks in his first six innings, had smashed the Aussie bowling attack with a knock of 122 at better than run a ball in the fifth and final ODI in 2016 before he joined the Kolpak brigade from his country.

Rossouw is now taking it one game at a time and not looking too far ahead, having been given a fresh start as an international cricketer.

“When you give up your right to play for your country and you expect, okay, that is going to be my last chance. So any moment you’ve got to cherish that you play for your country. And it’s like I’ve mentioned before, super proud for not just me but for my family back home,” he said at the press conference after his blitz against Bangladesh.




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