Centurion: “I fancy him quite a lot,” said South African big-hitter Heinrich Klaasen of the hammering he dished out to Indian wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, a bowler the rest of his team has struggled to read. After the rain-hit Wanderers ODI, Klaasen once again was the hero in a weather-affected match when his 69 off 30 balls gave South Africa a six-wicket win in the second Twenty20 International against India last night.
Much like at the Wanderers, Klaasen was harsh on Chahal and took him for 23 runs in the 13th over to turn the match on its head. The wrist spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been largely successful against Proteas but have been taken to the cleaners by Klaasen. Chahal finished with 0-64 from four overs last night, the most expensive spell for an Indian bowler in T20Is. The 26-year-old Klaasen said he simply likes playing against leg-spinners.
“I fancy him (Chahal) quite a lot. Especially when I was in amateur cricket, there were a couple of quality leg spinners in that time when I started my career. I faced Shaun von Berg (leg-spinner) at the Titans (Klaasen’s domestic team) a lot as well,” he said when asked about Chahal. “We always made a joke that I need to finish the other leg spinners’ career so he can go up.
Sometimes it works. It is nice to hit the ball where one wants it to go. It came off tonight. I am very pleased…I just tried to cash in as much as possible,” he said. Klaasen said his attack on Chahal has not been pre-meditated.
“It wasn’t planned. But the way their seamers bowled, the cutters, they’ve got very, very good skills as I have said before. I just fancied my chances more against the leggie, as I had more options against him. “So when I got the first two boundaries, I thought this is the over I got to target. Maybe if I can get 20-odd in this over,” he added.
He gave the crowd a lot to enjoy last night but Klaasen said it hard for him to enjoy himself in a match situation. “But looking back, I’d probably go back home tonight, probably watch it, hopefully if recorded. But later tonight or tomorrow I will enjoy the innings,” he quipped.
The power-hitter said he is living a dream right now.”…if this is my last game, the weekend one (at Cape Town), so be it. I am happy with it. My dream is fulfilled. Now it becomes a job,” he said.