Klaasen hopes Barabati knock prolongs his career

South Africa wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen hopes his match-winning effort against India in the second T20 helps him prolong his international career.

Dropped after the T20 World Cup last year, Klaasen also found himself out of the ODI side and also lost his central contract.

He would not have got a look-in had Quinton de Kock not injured his wrist before the game on Sunday as the 30-year-old finally got a chance. He took the game away from India with his fiery 46-ball 81, his career-best T20 score.

“It was difficult (pitch) to bat. I found myself struggling up front. Then I decided if I go out today I would rather go my way and try to be positive. It’s just one of those days that it came off,” he said at the post-match media interaction.

“It’s a blessing from above that this innings came at this time for me in my career… That puts me on the map ahead of international cricket. So hopefully this will just prolong my career a little bit longer.”

He said he got an indication about playing a couple of days back after de Kock injured his hand and it was on the eve of the match he was confirmed a place in the XI.

“Quinny came up to me two days back on the team bus and said he had injured his wrists. I thought he is a strong character and he would be fine. But yesterday again, he said his hand is not fine. Yesterday morning, we came to training and the coach told me I might play,” he said.

From four off 12 balls, Klaasen stepped it up against the spinners and completed his fifty in 32 balls.

To his advantage, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned with magical figures of 4/13, was taken out of the attack after giving a triple blow up front.

Bhuvneshwar returned only in the 18th over and by then Klaasen innings virtually sealed it for the visitors.

“I also knew we needed to target the spinners. The seamers had a little bit up and down so we can take a little bit less risk against them and it came off today,” he added.