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Andile Phehlukwayo

'Don’t worry, I got this' – Phehlukwayo thrives under pressure

South Africa news

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South Africa fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo, who defended 15 in the last over against Pakistan in the second Twenty20 International, said he 'really enjoys' tough situations at the death.

Phehlukwayo is emerging as an adept white-ball performer for South Africa. His ability to bowl accurate slower balls at will combined with a deceptive yorker makes him a rather challenging prospect for batsmen. But even the best can have jitters in the pressure of death overs. Not Phehlukwayo, though. He thrives on it.

"I always land up in those situations, I really enjoy them," Phehlukwayo said after conceding only seven off the final over in the second T20I in Johannesburg to help close out the series with a game to spare.

The 22-year-old says he was exposed to high-pressure situations by then Dolphins coach Lance Klusener while playing for them in domestic cricket. The training is bearing fruit now at the international stage, and Phehlukwayo feels he's only getting better. So much so that he could tell David Miller, his captain at the last game, "Don't worry, I've got this."

"At the Dolphins I was put into those positions a lot when Lance was there and so you learn to take responsibility and ownership," said Phehlukwayo. "I’ve learned a lot; there are aspects of my game that need to improve. The player I was three years ago and the player I am now, I guess a lot of the mental stuff is different, or better."

"Every player wants to win big moments, it won’t always go your way, but the more often you are in those situations, the more you will get it right. If you train hard and get the basics right then more often than not it will go your way."

Phehlukwayo now has one eye on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, which gets underway on May 30 in England.

"It’s really crucial, those type of moments will happen in the World Cup... It’s good when we win in these situations, to remember that feeling, but even if we don’t, we need to learn from that, get back in the dressing room and debate what went wrong or right."

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