NEVER TOO YOUNG TO LEARNYou have to work hard if you want to be the best - Just ask Andile Phehlukwayo
Andile Phehlukwayo is only a couple of months out of school but already he’s won an U19 Cricket World Cup and played in the Champions League T20. He also knows that even though he’s a naturally good player of spin bowling, as he climbs the cricket pyramid that’s not going to be enough.
“Learn how to sweep and reverse-sweep”
The reverse sweep is usually played when the off-side field is sparsely defended or the point or backward point is standing on the ring. The batsman will aim to ‘reverse’ the ball over the waiting fielder by changing the position of his hands on his bat handle, scoring four runs in the process. It’s a shot that Phehlukwayo has used to great effect.
“Be humble in your ways”
“Try to take criticism or advice in a positive way,” says Phehlukwayo, “otherwise it just sticks in your head and sits there.” Phehlukwayo has been advised by Dolphins coach Lance Klusener to hit the ball straight back over the bowler’s head because the boundary area behind the bowler is seldom patrolled like other positions on the field.
“Always work hard on your skills”
In the same way that batsmen need to attack bowlers from the start of their innings in the T20 format, so bowlers need to constantly re-visit their skill set. Improving his range of slower balls is something Phehlukwayo really needs to work on. Whether he’s bowling the ball with his fingers across the seam or whether he’s bowling it out of the back of the hand, having a wider repertoire of deliveries will help him maintain the element of surprise over batsmen who want him to be predictable.
“Always work hard to improve your fielding”
“The difference between fielding in schoolboy cricket and doing what’s required in the professional game is big,” says Phehlukwayo. “I usually field as a boundary rider or at mid-on or mid-off but I’m learning to field anywhere now.”