Klaasen after Paarl ton: It's not the De Kock show

Heinrich Klaasen (Gallo Images)
Heinrich Klaasen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Heinrich Klaasen revealed on Saturday that Proteas coach Mark Boucher asked for batsmen not to rely on skipper Quinton de Kock.

Klaasen smashed an unbeaten 123 off 114 balls as he steered the Proteas to a 74-run win in Paarl this past weekend.

De Kock fell early on in South Africa's innings at Boland Park for 15 as the Proteas looked in trouble on 48/3.

Klaasen and David Miller then shared a 149-run fifth-wicket partnership as South Africa ended on 291/7.

"This is not the Quinton de Kock show," Klaasen, who was awarded man of the match for his maiden century, told reporters on Saturday.

"He is an incredible player but we can't put all the pressure on him. The coach asked us if he doesn't score runs, someone needs to step up.

"The hard chats that we've had have been for other guys to take it on the chin and man up and produce the numbers as well."

Klaasen credited Boucher for backing him and admitted that the former Proteas wicketkeeper's move from the Titans to the national side had impacted him.

"It's always good to know that your coach backs you," said Klaasen.

"Our relationship changed when he got called up to the Proteas and that transition was difficult for my cricket. I fell back to Albie Morkel and Jacques Rudolph, guys that I trust and who know my game well.

"I've also learnt a lot from Dean Elgar and how he plays his white ball cricket.

"It's good to know that the coach backs me. I always wanted to do well for him because of the relationship we had and hopefully it continues."

The Proteas have a 1-0 series lead with the second ODI scheduled for Wednesday in Bloemfontein (13:00).

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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