In this day and age where players prefer to play T20 cricket around the world and sign lucrative contracts, Reeza Hendricks is one of the few players who are still eager to play the longer version of the game – Test cricket, which is considered the pinnacle of the gentlemen’s game.
The Imperial Lions batsman does not want to be boxed in and considered a limited cricket player but he is eager to play the longer version of the game, four-day cricket for his franchise and put himself in a position to potentially get a Proteas Test call-up.
Speaking to the Sporting Detail, Hendricks said, “I would like to improve, more especially on four-day cricket, I didn’t play much last season (for the Lions), I played only three matches. I still have aspirations of playing Test cricket, that is one of my goals going into the new season.”
The Kimberly born star became a regular starter for the Proteas in white-ball cricket in 2018 after a couple of good seasons for the Lions and has built a reputation as a destructive opener. “The only way I can stay in the Proteas ODI and T20 sides is if I can put some runs on the board, hopefully, I can do that, “said Hendricks.
Hendricks wants to play as many 4-Day Series matches for the Lions in the 2019/20 season. With over 120 first-class matches under his belt, Hendricks’ numbers in four-day cricket do not really inspire confidence with 6916 runs at an average of 33.09, 14 tons and 33 half-centuries to his name.
The 30-year-old in his three four-day games for the 2018/19 4-Day Series champions, the Lions could only manage to score 169 runs in six innings, hitting one half-century, averaging 33.80 but during the 2017/18 season, Hendricks was in the top eight of batsmen with the most runs in the 4-Day Series with three centuries and 658 runs at a healthy average of 43.86.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) come up with the idea of the World Test Championship (WTC) which involves nine Test nations competing in a league across two years to bring meaningful competition, relevance, and context to bilateral Test cricket.
With the Proteas in the rebuilding phrase after the retirement of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir and other players signing Kolpak contracts, places in the Test side are up for grabs. We have seen players getting selected for the Proteas Test side based on their ODI cricket form.
Hendricks is up against a number of young and talented batsmen knocking on the door of the Proteas Test team. Keegan Petersen (Knights), Eddie Moore (Warriors), Pieter Malan (Cobras) just to name a few.
Hendricks is a versatile player with a decent technique, usually opens the batting for the Lions and Jozi Stars but he can bat anywhere in the top order.
The Proteas Test batting line up is a bit shaky and inexperienced meaning that we might see a couple of players making their debut for South Africa.
Hendricks’s personal goals for the 2019/20 season are to keep on scoring runs, improve and perform better than last season. “I think I had a fairly good season last year but there are obviously areas where I would like to improve on.”