Proteas

Will Maharaj get a crack 'Down Under'?

Keshav Maharaj (Gallo).
Keshav Maharaj (Gallo).

Cape Town - Whether or not he plays remains to be seen, but Keshav Maharaj is preparing for the tour of his life as the Proteas depart for Australia for a three-match Test series over November. 

Maharaj, now 26, is part of a squad of 16 that will leave Johannesburg for Australia on Sunday.

"It's pretty much 90% sunk in. I think once I get on that flight and touch down on Australian soil then I'll feel every moment of it," Maharaj said from Durban on Friday. 

He has been on the radar for some time after a couple of solid seasons for the Dolphins, but the clincher for the selectors would have come in the first Sunfoil Series match of the 2016/17 season. 

Maharaj took 12 wickets in one day and 13 for the match as the Dolphins thrashed the Warriors by an innings and 70 runs in East London.

He also made 72 batting at No 9 in that match.

"My batting is something I take very seriously. I want to be the complete all-rounder," he said.

There has been no secret to Maharaj's success, just the willingness to keep improving.

"It's been a long process and a long journey. There was no time frame of when I would have liked to play for South Africa," he said.

"It's just been dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Hard work does pay off, but it doesn't happen overnight."

With the highly-rated Tabraiz Shamsi also in the Test squad, Maharaj might go through the series without getting a game. 

His best chance of playing, if reports are to be believed, is at the Adelaide Oval in the third Test. 

That match will be played under lights and with a pink ball as the Proteas play in their first ever day/night Test. 

"The only time I've played with a pink ball is in the Africa Cup. That's only four overs of bowling and not much batting," said Maharaj.

"It looks quite exciting. If I do crack the nod I'll try take my opportunity with both hands, whether it be with a pink or red ball.

I'm chuffed with the way things have panned out so far."

Maharaj was in Sunfoil Series action again this week, but he didn't see much of the ball as Robbie Frylinck blitzed the Dolphins to a win over the Lions with a 14-wicket haul.

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