Proteas newbie Rickelton had form concerns ahead of Test debut

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Proteas batter Ryan RIckelton
Proteas batter Ryan RIckelton
Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
  • Proteas batter Ryan Rickelton said his lack of runs at domestic level worried him ahead of his Test debut against Bangladesh on Thursday.
  • Rickelton, who was the third-highest run-scorer in the Four-Day Series, had a run of low scores in the 1-Day Cup.
  • Rickelton was surprised by the pitch that was prepared at Kingsmead.

Proteas batter Ryan Rickelton said desperation nearly got the better of him ahead of his debut in the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead on Thursday.

The 25-year-old St Stithians College product tallied up 497 runs at 82.83 in seven innings for the Lions with three 100s and one 50 in the domestic 4-Day competition this season. 

That stat put him in third place behind Pieter Malan and David Bedingham and with last season's 627 runs at 48.23, he was always going to be one of the first cabs out of the rank.

However, since he joined the squad for the India and New Zealand Test series that saw him not play cricket for six weeks, the runs dried up.

STUMPS | Proteas v Bangladesh, First Test, Day One

He scored 56 runs in four 1-Day Cup games for the Lions while his last Four-Day Series game saw him score 24 and 0 in the seven-wicket loss against the Titans.

That low run of form made Rickelton rather desperate, but he remained champing at the bit. "I have noticed it and I have been desperate to play for South Africa. I've really been trying to put up my hand domestically," Rickelton said.

"It's been tough for me because I was playing quite nicely leading into the New Zealand series, so I was champing at the bit to get a game there.

"The six weeks off of not playing any cricket and coming back to get a few low scores in domestic cricket made me think twice about my chances.

"It was quite difficult and coming into this game, I didn't have as much confidence in my batting because of the low scores.

"Mark Boucher said to me it’s the beginning of a new phase, so I can put that behind me and I'm grateful to get my opportunity."

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque took the interesting decision to bat first on a Kingsmead track that was green, but is expected to turn and deteriorate.

Rickelton has played a fair bit of first-class cricket at Kingsmead and was surprised by what was dished out at the ground.

"It was an interesting wicket and I haven't seen that look on the Durban wicket before," Rickelton said.

"I found that when the ball pitched on the good length and went over the top of the stumps, it had a lot of good energy.

"It did a little bit and the pitch had a few divots, so the ball started to nip around. When they got their lengths right after lunch, it was quite challenging.

"When they went fuller or short, it was quite nice to play on. I don't think it’s a bad cricket wicket."

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