Verreynne in dreamland after Proteas debut, India call-up

Kyle Verreynne (Gallo)
Kyle Verreynne (Gallo)

Cape Town - When Kyle Verreynne came to the crease in Paarl on Saturday on ODI debut, the Proteas were in early trouble at 33/2. 

When Temba Bavuma fell shortly afterwards, the hosts were 48/3 and staring down the barrel of another disappointing batting performance against Australia. 

What followed was a 78-run stand for the fourth wicket between Verreynne (48 off 64) and man-of-the-match Heinrich Klaasen (123* off 114) that went a long way towards South Africa's recovery to 291/7 from their 50 overs and a commanding 74-run win in the opening ODI. 

Verreynne, at just 22, has arrived onto the international stage and his first impression was a good one. 

"I would have liked to have gotten 50, but if you told me the day before that I was going to get 48 I would have taken it with both hands," he said on Monday.

"The first five or so balls I faced I was really nervous, but after that you're so involved in the battle that it sort of goes out of your mind that you're on debut and playing against Australia."

Things got even better for the Cape Cobras man when, on Tuesday, he was named in a 15-man squad that will tour India for three ODIs next month. 

"I knew the tour was coming up but not if I was going to be involved or not," he said.

"You always dream of playing against the good teams so Australia for my debut was very special and now the chance to play against India ... I'm really excited."

Verreynne acknowledges that the last few weeks have been a "dream come true". 

"It's something that I've always dreamt of, playing for South Africa. It was a really special day," he said.

"It was nice to be on the winning side in my first game.

"Coach Mark Boucher, I obviously looked up to him as a kid and Quinny de Kock I watched growing up and they are guys you dream to be like.

"It takes a while to get used to being in their company, but I've just enjoyed being able to learn from them."

While adjusting to the new commands of being a Protea have been different for Verreynne on the field, he says he is much the same person off of it. 

"It's weird. I don't feel any different," he said.

"Obviously being a part of the squad is exciting, but nothing has really changed.

"I'm still going about things the way I do, day to day. There are obviously a lot more things going on, and there are a lot more people contacting me, so that's been a bit of a change."

Verreynne is expected to earn his 2nd ODI when the Proteas in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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