Rassie van der Dussen's astonishing ODI batting average: 'I don't pay much attention to it'

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Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo)
Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo)

Thirty-two-year-old Rassie van der Dussen played perhaps his finest innings in Proteas colours in Paarl on Wednesday with his undefeated 129* (96) earning him the man-of-the-match award and his team a 31-run victory over India in the first of three ODIs. 

Van der Dussen shared in a 204-run partnership with captain Temba Bavuma (110) for the fourth wicket that ultimately set his side up for the victory, while his shot-making ability from start to finish was hugely impressive. 

Even more impressive, however, is Van der Dussen's ODI career record and an average that has reached quite ridiculous heights.

This was Van der Dussen's 30th ODI and, in that time, he has batted 24 times for his country scoring 1 178 runs. 

It all combines to leave South Africa's all-format middle-order specialist with an ODI average of 73.62

In the history of ODI cricket, no male player with 20 or more innings to his name averages more than that, and while that is quite a startling statistic, Van der Dussen says his average is not something he spends much time thinking about. 

"I don't pay too much attention to it," said Van der Dussen after his sterling effort on Wednesday.

"You are sometimes aware of it because they show it on TV, or whatever, but I think for me in every innings you are starting on 0 and trying to assess the match situation and what's needed from you.

"I suppose in my ODI career, I've been really clear when I go into bat and to know what was needed from me. As for today, I'm glad I could play a match-winning knock in the end."

While that average will almost certainly drop as Van der Dussen's thriving career continues, he has become one of his country's most important cogs in 50-over cricket, and he points to his ability to understand game situations as one of the major reasons for his success in the format, even when that means he has been criticised for sometimes being a slow starter. 

"Going in the middle order, I try to read the situation and play it according to how I think will give us a good score or win the match," said Van der Dussen. 

"Sometimes I appreciate the fact that from the outside it might look like I'm doing something else, but my only motivation ever going in to bat is to get the team in a good position or to win the match.

"There is never any other reference from my point of view."

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