Andile Phehlukwayo (Gallo)
Proteas allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo says he felt a little “rusty” on his return to the national side in Sunday’s washed-out ODI against Ireland in Dublin.
It was the 25-year-old’s first match for his country since the T20 series against Pakistan on home soil back in April, where he bowled just four overs in four matches as strand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen pointed to a lack of confidence.
Ireland had amassed 195/4 (40.2) before the first of three ODIs was abandoned on Sunday, with Phehlukwayo claiming figures of 1/39 (7).
Speaking to media after his 100th international appearance for South Africa, Phehlukwayo was frank in his assessment of his own performance, saying that he expected to keep improving with the more game time he was given.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the field, particularly in Proteas colours. It was wonderful to be back and I just want to make the team proud every single time I get on the field for the Proteas,” said Phehlukwayo.
“It little bit rusty, personally, but it was good to be out there, and I think the more you play, the better you will get.
“I’ve just been shy of a few games lately. I think the longer I’m on the park, the more the confidence will grow and the closer I will get to where I was before. It’s all about spending time at the crease.”
Phehlukwayo was a part of the touring squad to the West Indies that won the T20 series 3-2 last month, and he says the Proteas are in a good space presently.
“Everything has been great in the camp, and I think you can see in our results that the team is working hard and moving forward,” he said.
“The guys have been playing well since the West Indies. They’re high on confidence and playing some really good cricket.
“But at the end of the day, I think we’re only as good as our last game so I think it’s just about reminding ourselves that we want to execute day in and day out.”
The second ODI takes place in Dublin on Tuesday, with play set to start at 11:45 (SA time).