WI vs SA | I’ve already learnt that bowlers keep coming at you relentlessly in Test cricket, reveals Kyle Verreynne

Kyle Verreynne, who gutted out a 89-ball 27 on Friday, revealed that, in just two Tests, he’s realized that, unlike domestic cricket, there are no ‘easy’ passages of play at the international level. Verreynne, who strung a 87-run partnership with Elgar, revealed that he was guided by his skipper.

Most batsmen in the world find it excruciatingly difficult to make the transition from domestic to international cricket, owing to the step up in quality, and Kyle Verreynne was no different. Entering the Test arena in the first Test in St Lucia with an average of 55.47 in first-class cricket, Verreynne lasted just 8 balls before nicking one to the keeper. And though the 24-year-old put up a considerably better showing in his second outing, on day one of the second Test on Friday, the right-hander had to work incredibly hard. 27 was what Verreynne scored in the first innings but it took the youngster 89 balls to get to the score, fending off incredibly intense passages of play.

He was eventually undone by a lapse in concentration, and speaking post day one, the 24-year-old revealed that he already, in just two innings, has come to the realization that bowlers give no breathing space to batsmen in Test cricket, challenging them relentlessly. 

“What I found in this Test series is that you don’t really get a break. Sometimes in domestic cricket, you can go through periods where you’ve got to get through a five-over spell of really ruthless cricket back home and once you get through that, you can play freely. But here, it’s the whole day,” Verreynne said at the end of Day 1. 

“The bowlers don’t really take their foot off the pedal. You’ve got to be on it every single ball otherwise you are going to get found out.”

Verreynne boasts a healthy strike rate of 61.33 in first-class cricket, and has also displayed his attacking prowess in the shorter formats for the Proteas, but he had to dig really deep on day one, as he struck at a mere 30.34 in his 89-ball stay. The youngster, someone not afraid to play his shots, revealed that he soon realized that he had to curb his attacking instincts to be able to survive on the tricky St Lucia wicket.

“I am quite a free-scoring player, but I found out in the first Test it’s probably not the way to go on this wicket,” he said. 

“I have been working a lot this week on adjusting to these conditions and putting certain shots away that I am used to playing. It was really nice to have Dean there to remind me of those chats and the net sessions I’ve had where I have had to restrict myself.”

Luckily, young Verreynne had the guidance of skipper Dean Elgar at the other end, and together the duo batted 32 overs, stitching a gutsy 87-run partnership to grind the Windies bowlers down. Verreynne revealed that Elgar’s advice to ‘keep things boring’ helped him focus and go about his business casually.

“[He told me] with the conditions being difficult, you don’t want to focus too much on scoring runs; it’s all about spending time in the middle.” Verreynne said. “The messages from him were about reminding me to stay patient, stick to the processes, remember the chats we had in the week, don’t do anything different, stay boring and spend time out in the middle.”

South Africa finished Day 1 on 218/5, with de Kock unbeaten on 59.  

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