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‘You look up to some role models and you want to be like them’- Heinrich Klaasen on AB de Villiers’ influence

Heinrich Klaasen. (Photo Source: X/Twitter/Proteas)

In what could be called a thrilling display of cricketing prowess, Heinrich Klaasen emerged as the hero of the day, propelling South Africa to a thumping victory in the fourth ODI series against Australia, thus levelling the contest at 2-2. The cricketing spectacle witnessed Klaasen’s explosive knock, as he bludgeoned his way to an astounding 174 runs from a mere 83 deliveries, setting the stage ablaze at a formidable total of 416/5. 

His scintillating innings featured a remarkable tally of 13 boundaries and an equal number of towering sixes, leaving the Australian side in awe and unable to bridge the colossal 164-run gap that separated them from victory. Reflecting on his remarkable performance, the right-handed batter shed light on the evolution of his cricketing journey, with particular emphasis on the profound influence of his role model, the legendary AB de Villiers.

He expressed,

“You look up to some role models and you want to be like them – like AB de Villiers. You want to play all the shots but the genius behind guys like AB was knowing when to play them,” Klaasen said. “For me, I explored a lot with it and it didn’t work. It was about maturing into my game and knowing my options are.” Klaasen said in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.

I was only focusing on what’s coming in that moment: Klaasen on his changed mindset

The Pretoria born cricketers transformation wasn’t merely restricted to his technical prowess; it also extended to his mental approach to the game. He explained the pivotal shift in his mindset, highlighting his newfound ability to live in the moment and focus on each delivery as it came.

“What’s changed in my career is that I am playing every ball as it is and for me to stay in that mindset. I don’t recap what I have done the previous ball or think of what I might do the next ball,” he revealed.

Furthermore, “Tim David asked me how many sixes I hit and I said I didn’t know. It shows my mindset was good, and I was only focusing on what’s coming in that moment. I have to go back and look at it. It was awesome out there, and you don’t often get that feeling – maybe once or twice in your career.” the Proteas batter concluded.

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