Breetzke geared up for tough India series
Young right-hander hoping for ‘dream come true’ to play for Proteas in front of home crowd at St George’s Park
Playing in the national colours at a full St George’s Park will be a dream come true for batter Matthew Breetzke when SA face off against India in the second of three T20 internationals next week.
The series kicks off with a clash on Sunday at Kingsmead in Durban before the action comes to Dafabet St George’s Park on Tuesday, with both matches starting at 5pm.
While teams have not yet been named for the respective encounters, Breetzke said playing in Gqeberha, if he gets the nod, would be a proud moment for him and his family.
“When I saw I was selected and saw there would be one game at home, that was the one game I was hoping to play.
“So hopefully I do get to play, and if so, it would be a special moment for me and my family,” the former Grey High School pupil said.
Speaking about his experiences in the inaugural edition of the SA20 competition and how that feeds into what he will bring at an international level, Breetzke said it was almost like an early introduction to cricket at an international level.
“With a tournament like SA20, it almost gets you used to international cricket in terms of the media and crowds, so coming into the set-up now, I feel more relaxed as opposed to if I had come in two to three years ago,” the right-hander said.
Asked about the youthful nature of the side and what they will bring against India, Breetzke said everyone picked for the squad deserved their spots after some impressive performances at a domestic level.
“The guys have been putting in good performances domestically.
“From my side, it is business as usual, trying to win games for whichever team I play for, and especially now for my country.
“India will come out and try to play aggressive cricket, which we see in the IPL.
“They have quite a few new faces, so for me it’s just about looking forward to challenging myself against the best in the world,” Breetzke said about the opening clash.
With an aggressive brand of cricket being a hot topic in playing circles over the last two or more years, Breetzke said he liked to play positive cricket, but only once conditions had been thoroughly assessed.
“I like to play positive cricket, but I’ll be looking to play the conditions because we don’t know what conditions will be like.
“If it is a good wicket, I’ll be out there trying to put the best foot forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dafabet Warriors coach Robin Peterson was full of praise for the three players who were included in the Proteas squads for the all-format series.
Other Warriors players included in the T20I squad against India alongside captain Breetzke are bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen and the hard-hitting Tristan Stubbs.
“Matthew was part of the Proteas T20 squad against Australia at the beginning of the season and it is another opportunity for him to play against high-level opposition like India.
“Hopefully we will see him in action at his home ground Dafabet St George’s Park to entertain the fans,” Peterson said.
In addition to their duties in the shorter format, Stubbs received a maiden call-up for the Proteas Test squad, while all-rounder Jansen also cracked the nod for the red-ball series after a busy summer.
“It is a real feather in Tristan’s cap to be selected for the Test squad, which is every young player’s dream,” Peterson said.
“He can play the long format and probably even prefers it in my opinion and he has impressed Shukri Conrad.
“Marco has been an all-format player for a long time, so there are no surprises with him being there.
“It is a great opportunity for him without Kagiso Rabada there to lead the attack, having played more cricket than most of the guys at international level and franchise cricket around the world.”
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