In franchise cricket and pitching for bilateral series

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Dwaine Pretorius is currently the busy captain of Team Abu Dhabi in the ongoing 7th edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League. Having taken retirement from international cricket in January 2023, the former South Africa international is enjoying T20s and other shorter formats across the globe.

In his statement from CSA, he claimed: “I am shifting my focus to T20 and other shorter formats for the rest of my career. Being a free agent will help me achieve the goal of being the best short format player I can be. By doing this, I will be able to have a better balance in my career and family life.”

Pretorius played 30 T20Is, 27 ODIs and three Tests and took 77 wickets across formats. He also featured in two World Cups. In an exclusive chat with RevSportz, he opened up about the T10 format, importance of all-rounders, experience of being a skipper and a lot more.

The following are excerpts:

RevSportz: You have played franchise tournaments in many countries. How is the Abu Dhabi T10 different? 

Pretorius: The margins are very small in this format. T10 is a very unforgiving sport, especially for the bowlers. If the momentum is against you, both batters and bowlers find it tough to get them in as the format is so fast. 

RevSportz: How important is the role of an all-rounder in the T10 format? 

Pretorius: Very important. All-rounders are crucial, especially while bowling the death overs and batting in crucial situations. So, it also adds a depth in your batting order. 

RevSportz: Where do you see the future of the traditional Tests and ODIs going forward, with the T20s and T10s gaining popularity? 

Pretorius: Honestly, I do not know. Obviously, my only focus is on T20s and T10s. Test cricket, I do not have any clue where that will be going to end up. At the end of the day, it is the purest form of the game but this T10 format is the most entertaining format for fans to be watching, especially if you are new to the sports. 

RevSportz: How is the pressure of captaincy? You have played against some of the best players. Have you learnt anything from other captains you have played against in different formats?

Pretorius: Definitely. What is more difficult in T10 is that you come here just three days before the tournament starts. So, it’s not easy as any other long tournament. At the end of the day, you hope that you get a team that is in form and trust your bowling. 

So, for me, I am just trying to make them feel comfortable and let them know that I trust them. Performance will come and go. But you need guys to stand up in every game and that is the beauty of this format. 

RevSportz: The India vs South Africa series starts on 10th December. There will be 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 2 Tests. What are your expectations from the series and how important are these bilateral series in today’s cricket scenario? 

Pretorius: The next T20 World Cup is in June. If they want to give the squad an opportunity to play together, that is basically a very good opportunity. A lot of young Indian boys are in the side and they will look to put up good shows to have a ticket for the World Cup. 

So, I think it will be tightly contested. The home crowd will come out to support and obviously, a bilateral series like this is very important for international cricket. Bilateral series are important to keep international cricket alive. Otherwise, we might end up with a football kind of international set-up where players from all countries play once in a while against each other. 

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