Ryan Rickelton of the Proteas. Photo: BackpagePix

Ryan Rickelton of the Proteas. Photo: BackpagePix

Rickelton: I didn’t have much confidence on eve of Proteas debut

Proteas debutant Ryan Rickelton has described the anxious wait that led up to his first opportunity in Test cricket on Thursday.

Ryan Rickelton of the Proteas. Photo: BackpagePix

Ryan Rickelton of the Proteas. Photo: BackpagePix

Although Rickelton is a more than capable wicket-keeper, it’s solely as a batsman that the Proteas rewarded the 25-year-old with a long-awaited Test debut in the first Test that started against Bangladesh on Thursday.

Rickelton had been part of the Proteas setup for some time, and many believed he should have been given an opportunity far sooner considering Aiden Markram’s struggles with the bat.


In first-class cricket, his record speaks for itself, with 10 hundreds and 10 fifties in 60 innings seeing him average just over 51.

On debut, Rickelton looked good for his 21 before he lobbed a catch to Mominul Haque, but the innings will certainly be remembered for the audacious manner he got off the mark with a reverse sweep for four.

There are surely big things to come from the left-hander in the future, but he admitted after Thursday’s day of play that some doubts had begun to creep in as he lost some form while waiting for his international opportunity.

 “I have noticed it and I have been desperate to play for South Africa. I’ve really been trying to put up my hand domestically,” Rickelton said.

“It’s been tough for me because I was playing quite nicely leading into the New Zealand series, so I was champing at the bit to get a game there.

“The six weeks off of not playing any cricket and coming back to get a few low scores in domestic cricket made me think twice about my chances.

“It was quite difficult and coming into this game, I didn’t have as much confidence in my batting because of the low scores.

“Mark Boucher said to me it’s the beginning of a new phase, so I can put that behind me and I’m grateful to get my opportunity.”

Bangladesh had won the toss and elected to bowl in the first Test against the Proteas at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday. After Rickelton’s dismissal, Temba Bavuma (53*) and Kyle Verreynne (27*) then combined for an important partnership to lead the Proteas to 233-4 at the close of play.

It’s an encouraging start for the Proteas at Kingsmead, which is a venue where South Africa have only won two and lost seven in the last 10 Tests.

Weather and bad light often also seems to plague the Proteas at this venue, and again there is rain forecast for Friday afternoon and most of Saturday and Sunday, suggesting the Test is likely to end in a draw.


Nevertheless, Rickelton and Lizaad Williams become Test cap numbers 117 and 118, respectively, as they make their Test debuts for the Proteas.

The match also sees the return of Simon Harmer to international cricket, while Sarel Erwee and Keegan Petersen play their first match at their home ground.

You can check out the scoreboard here

Key battle

Dean Elgar needs just 28 more runs to become the third South African to score 500 Test runs vs Bangladesh. The left-hander has two centuries in his last three innings against them although he failed to cross 40 in his last six innings at this venue. His main tussle could be against Bangladesh’s Ebadot Hossain, who was the star of their series win in New Zealand with a ‘Player of the match’ performance in Mount Maunganui (1/75 & 6/46). His series average in New Zealand was also 29.33, which is ‘Bradmanesque’ compared to his pre-series career average of 81.54!

Stat attack

– The average first innings score at this venue over the last eight Tests is 297, with only one score above 350.

– South Africa have lost their last nine home tosses going on to bowl first in the most recent eight.



South Africa

Dean Elgar (captain), Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Temba Bavuma, Ryan Rickelton, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Simon Harmer, Lizaad Williams, Duanne Olivier


Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Yasir Ali, Litton Das (wkt), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain

Umpires: Marais Erasmus, Adrian Holdstock (both RSA)

TV umpire: Allahudien Paleker (RSA)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)