Dewald Brevis will take a step onto cricket’s big stage during Australia’s white-ball tour of South Africa, which starts with the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Kingsmead on Wednesday. Brevis, 20, was nicknamed ‘Baby AB’ for the way he modelled his game on that of retired South African star AB de Villiers. He wears the same number 17 on his shirt and has the ability to hit big sixes, particularly in the area between midwicket and long-on. He slammed a South African T20 record score of 162 off 57 balls in a domestic match last October but has yet to have consistent success for franchise teams in four countries.
Brevis is expected to make his international debut in the T20 series and will need to live up to the early hype about his career to secure a ticket to the 50-overs Cricket World Cup in India in October and November.
Brevis is part of an 18-man squad for a five-match one-day international series which follows the T20s. Only 15 players will go to the World Cup.
“I know there will always be expectations,” he said. “Pressure is always there; I feel the pressure, but I like it. I just want people to get to know me as Dewald Brevis and just see how I go about my things.”
Several other players from both sides will also be keen to press their World Cup claims.
Australia’s leading fast bowlers will miss the T20 series, providing an opportunity for newcomer Spencer Johnson as well as Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis to make a mark in the shorter games before being part of the one-day series.
Australian batsman Travis Head said on Monday that Johnson deserved his selection after injuries had hampered him early in his career.
“He bowls at high speed and swings the ball. He can be a match-winner.”
All-rounder Aaron Hardie will want to make the most of his first international call-up.
South African fast bowler Gerald Coetzee, 22, has had a rapid rise to prominence and will be making his T20 international debut after playing in two Test matches and two one-day internationals.
The white-ball series will provide hard-hitting Tristan Stubbs with a chance to cement a World Cup place.
T20 international squads:
South Africa: Aiden Markram (captain), Temba Bavuma, Matthew Breetzke, Dewald Brevis, Gerald Coetzee, Donovan Ferreira, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams, Rassie van der Dussen.
Australia: Mitchell Marsh (captain), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
August 30, first T20 international, Durban
September 1, second T20 international, Durban
September 3, third T20 international, Durban
September 7, first one-day international, Bloemfontein
September 9, second one-day international, Bloemfontein
September 12, third one-day international, Potchefstroom
September 15, fourth one-day international, Centurion
September 17, fifth one-day international, Johannesburg
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