Proteas

Behardien praises 'hard man' Klaasen

Heinrich Klaasen (AP)
Heinrich Klaasen (AP)

Cape Town - When the Proteas take on India in the third and final T20I at Newlands on Saturday night, there will be a lot of attention on Heinrich Klaasen

The 26-year-old, getting a run in the side with Quinton de Kock out injured, is in red hot form. 

His 69 off 30, which included seven sixes, at Centurion on Wednesday night was simply stunning and it ultimately won the Proteas the match and kept them in the series. 

With just two T20Is and four ODIs to his name, Klaasen is still green on the international stage and as a result the cricketing public does not know an awful lot about him. 

But, speaking ahead of Saturday's clash, Farhaan Behardien provided some insight on what makes Klaasen tick. 

Behardien and Klaasen play together at the Titans and know each other well.

"He's coming off some massive form," Behardien said.

"He comes from a long line of cricketers who graduated from Tuks. He's played lots of Varsity Cups and tournaments.

"He's played for the Titans now for a long time where we've been very successful and played in a good environment. He's built his character around that.

"He used to bat in the middle order but now with myself, Albie Morkel, Dave Wiese and Chris Morris, he normally goes in at No 4, which gives him a little more responsibility. He's floated around that middle order for the last three or four years."

Behardien added that Klaasen had flourished under the guidance of Titans coach Mark Boucher, before likening him to AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis in terms of his mental approach to cricket.

"It's no surprise that he's stepped up. He's a very hard character, he's a competitor and he wants to be on this stage. He wants to play for a long time ... that's the way he is," said Behardien.

"He has a similar competitiveness to the guys like AB and Faf who want to be in a fight against the opposition. He's not scared of that."

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