Van der Dussen reckons Proteas batters are unfairly criticised: 'It's been tough conditions'

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Rassie van der Dussen. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Rassie van der Dussen. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
  • Rassie van der Dussen believes South Africa's batsmen have been unfairly criticised for their performance this year due to unfavourable batting conditions.
  • The Proteas play an unofficial warm-up this week before facing Australia in three-match Test series.
  • Van der Dussen hopes some players can transform their recent domestic form to the Test arena.

Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen insists the South African batting attack has been unfairly judged as they haven't been playing in favourable conditions.

The Proteas are preparing for a four-day warm-up game before tackling Australia in a three-match Test series, starting on 17 December in Brisbane.

Van der Dussen returns to the Proteas set-up after missing out on the T20 World Cup due to a finger injury sustained during the England Test series.

Last month, Van der Dussen returned to competitive action in two CSA 4-Day Franchise Series games. He opened the batting for the Lions and notched totals of 45, 10, 30 and 9.

South Africa play an unofficial four-day match against a Cricket Australia XI side from 9-12 December at the Allan Border Field.

"I've got some game time in the middle for the Lions, and there's two matches. It was good time on the feet to get back into it and I'm looking forward to this week. I'm feeling good."

Van der Dussen's presence bolsters the Proteas batting line-up, which has struggled with form of late and will be without the services of Keegan Petersen.

There have been some encouraging performances during the 4-Day Franchise Series, with Kyle Verreynne and Theunis de Bruyn scoring centuries ahead of the Australian series.

Van der Dussen hopes they can transfer their domestic form to the international level as they look to come against a ruthless Australian outfit.

"I know our first-class structure in South Africa is tough cricket so to spend 10-odd years in that structure, you do develop as a player, but also along the mental side of it," Van der Dussen told reporters on Thursday.

"If you look at the makeup of our batting line-up of our squad, you get guys who are resilient, who know their game and have been around the block in terms of first-class cricket.

"The key probably for us is just going to transfer that into Test level. It's going to be to transfer those skills that we've built up over the last 10 or 15 years when it's out in the middle now to really draw on that sort of first-class experience."

READ | Test series batting: Aussie cannon v SA popgun? 

Van der Dussen insists that conditions play a major role in how batters play, and is adamant that the Proteas have fared decently considering they're second on the World Test Championship standings.

"People have been quite critical of our batting unit in the last two years and in England, it was very tough," said Van der Dussen.

"If you think the last 18 to 24 months, the conditions that we've batted in, it's really been tough. The numbers tell their story, our guys are averaging the 30s, while some other countries, you have guys averaging 50s and 60s and then people compare without taking the conditions into consideration.

"We're sitting second in the World Test Championship at the moment, and that tells you the kind of cricket that we're playing. So whatever conditions we batted in, other teams have also batted in, and somehow we've come out on top."

Van der Dussen adds that racking up the runs is fundamental and they hope to do so in batting-friendly conditions Down Under.

"I think people look too much into those stats as a batting line-up. I'm not looking for excuses and we definitely want to get more hundreds and get more partnerships and score a lot more runs individually," said Van der Dussen.

"At the end of the day, if we can bat as a unit and get our team across the line, that's the most important thing. I'm definitely looking forward, hopefully, the pitches play well and there's a battle between bat and ball."

The first of three Tests gets under way on 17 December in Brisbane.

Proteas Test squad:

Dean Elgar (captain - Titans), Temba Bavuma (Lions), Gerald Coetzee (Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Titans), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Titans), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (Western Province), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins)

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