After blitzkrieg against Australia, Heinrich Klaasen names AB de Villiers as inspiration

With South Africa trailing 2-1 after the first three of the five ODIs against Australia, Heinrich Klaasen would up the ante in the fourth match between the two on Friday as he blasted 174 runs off 83 deliveries to eventually guide the Proteas to a 164 run win and level the series.

An innings that saw the 32-year-old notch 13 fours and as many maximums as South Africa posted a staggering 416/5 in their quota of 50 overs.

“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 would tell ESPN Cricinfo afterwards. “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.”

“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 added.

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Scoring just the 24 runs of his first 25 deliveries, Klaasen would add 150 runs off his next 58 balls.

“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,” Klaasen revealed.

Off his 37 innings so far for South Africa in ODIs, Klaasen has 1317 runs at an average of 42.48 with three triple figure scores and five fifties.

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