After Yuzvendra Chahal registered the worst figures for an Indian bowler in T20 internationals (0/64 in four overs) in the last T20 against South Africa, his chief wrecker Heinrich Klaasen has said that he fancies facing the Indian leg-spinner.
Chahal has been hard to read for a majority of South African batsmen on the current tour, but Klaasen took him to the cleaners en-route to his knock of 69 off 30 balls, which helped South Africa chase down India’s target with eight balls to spare. In a match affected by rain, Klaasen scored 23 runs in the 13th over which Chahal was bowling to tilt the match heavily in South Africa’s favour.
Talking about facing leg-spinners like Chahal, Klaasen said, “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. We always made a joke that I need to finish the other leg spinners’ career so that 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.”
Enjoying his cricket at the moment, Klaasen said that he did not pre-meditate going after Chahal. “It wasn’t planned. But the way their seamers bowled, the cutters, they’ve got 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, I can get 20-odd in this over.”
While Klaasen said that he could not enjoy the knock as much as he wanted to during a match situation, it would probably be different when he watches it back. “But looking back, I’d probably go back home, watch it, hopefully if recorded. But later tonight [Wednesday] or tomorrow I will enjoy the innings,” said the 26 year old. “…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 concluded.