The step-up with Dewald Brevis
Posted by Obakeng Meletse | Oct 24, 2021
The great Basketball sensation Michael Jordan once said “The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.”
The South African U-19s are currently being put through their paces and are quickly learning what hard cricket is all about. They have taken on some of the best Twenty20 opposition in the country with the CSA T20 knock out tournament underway between the two divisions.
The transition from school cricket to the South Africa U-19 is one that can be exciting and challenging at the same time as one is not only moving up from playing schoolboy cricket but also being introduced to the domestic set-up and getting to mix with the big boys.
18-year-old Dewald Brevis looks up to hero AB De Villiers and in many ways looks to feed off the positivity De Villiers is well known for as he continues his journey with the SA U-19.
“With school cricket, we don’t play that many T20 games. I’m a batsman that loves to play with flair and I love watching the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League and all the other leagues. I also like the longer format but my game developed with playing t20 and getting a chance to spend time in the middle and understanding formats better.” Brevis told Cricket Fanatics magazine.
School cricket usually doesn’t have a lot of T20 cricket and the shift in mindset and adapting to the fast pace of the game can be quite a challenge for someone who’s moving from school cricket into a more challenging level of cricket with a fast-paced format like t20 cricket.
“For me, it’s something that comes naturally but I always look to be positive and play with flair and look to be aggressive but there’s a fine line between playing with aggression and not being smart about it. The SA U-19 philosophy is to play aggressive cricket but the balance between that and smart cricket is key to it all.
The game of cricket looks a lot easier when you sit back and watch AB de Villiers face up to any bowler. Known for his 360-degree clean ball striking, many bowlers have travelled around many a park and to this day nobody can say they have figured out how to stop AB. The one aspect that is always visible when he walks out to bat is a clear game plan and consistent execution.
“My game plan is getting there, and l think you get to understand your game much more when you play on higher levels and play more cricket and look to understand the conditions and the game better.”
To be able to play 360 is something I love to do, but I try not to search for the runs but wait for the ball and it’s almost like playing more on instinct. I love the way AB plays, his ability to hit the ball all over the ground and his flair, it’s been amazing to watch that.”
Under the leadership of Shukri Conrad, Brevis and the U-19 team will soon be heading to the 50-over World Cup to be held in the West Indies in 2022 and the run in the T20 Knock-Out tournament will no doubt be beneficial in their development.
“The advice and everything coach Shukri gives to us as a team is just amazing, he allows us to go out there play our best game without any limits to our stroke play. Our mentality is to show the opponent that we are coming for them and take the game forward by being aggressive and smart in our approach.
T20 cricket and the money that comes with it can easily attract anyone and it’s no secret that a career of a sportsman or woman can be one of the shortest careers as nothing is guaranteed. With T20 cricket now making its way into school cricket, will Test cricket again be threatened by the loss of youngsters to T20 cricket and all the attractions that come with it?
“It’s definitely a dream for me to play the longer formats like Test cricket, I haven’t played a four-day game in my life, I have only played one 3-day game.
“I love the game, I love all the formats and cricket is my passion and I would love to play all the formats and I think it’s a great test to play the 4-day competition.”
“I don’t know at the moment if I’ll be part of the Northerns team to take part in the four-day competition between the two divisions coming up later in the season but I would really love to take part in that, to get the experience and learn from that.”