Abbott is eagerly awaiting South Africa’s next Test series in seven months time
In just one Test match, 25-year-old South Africa pace bowler Kyle Abbott became a household name in the country after taking nine wickets against Pakistan during the third Test at Centurion.
However, he will not be given the opportunity to prove if he really is South Africa’s next all-star pace bowler or whether he is just a one hit wonder as the Proteas will not play another Test match for seven months, which comes, surprisingly enough, against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Abbott became the country’s second-most successful debutant, only behind Marchant de Lange, and he wants to continue hearing the electrifying roar of the entire nation of South Africa cheering him on for every delivery he bowls.
“I’ve had a taste and it tastes really good,” Abbott said. “It’s going to be a little frustrating not playing for a while. I feel like I’d love to have another series to showcase my skills again.”
South Africa captain Graeme Smith stated that it was extremely “disappointing” that there was such a large gap until the next Test series.
The Proteas’ break would have been shorter if their Test series against Sri Lanka had not been postponed by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) till 2015.
Smith noted that the gap period was going to be a challenging one for South Africa since it is going to be difficult to keep up the winning momentum for seven months.
“Preparation is going to key,” he said. “You can’t focus on keeping guys on top of their game for six months so the time just before is when we will have to put in a lot of work.”
Prior to his nine wicket match, Abbott had only played domestic cricket in South Africa and he credited it to be the major reason as to why he experienced so much success during his international debut.
“The domestic circuit is at its strongest,” Abbott said. “There are a number of bowlers knocking on the door. It’s a real credit to the system that we’ve got, the High Performance Programme and the even the South Africa A which is run really well now. There are good coaches and good structures to prepare guys to the next level so the guys stepping up are ready. I’d say the core of South African cricket is really strong.”
Abbott is the fourth pace bowler to be called up from the domestic circuit by coach Gary Kirsten, with Vernon Philander, Marchant de Lange and Rory Kleinveldt being the first three.
This clearly shows that the domestic circuit in South Africa is doing its job, which is to produce talented players at regular intervals.
With South Africa already having an unassailable 2-0 lead against Pakistan prior to the final Test, Abbott noted that he had the rare chance to “express myself and give it all I could.”
“If there was ever an ideal situation to make your debut in, this was it,” he said. “I could be sitting here with South Africa on the back of ten losses and they are scraping the barrel for new players.”
Abbott also noted that his transition into the national side had been a fairly smooth one since there were a lot of similarities between the Dolphins coach, Lance Klusener and Kirsten.
“Both Lance Klusener and Gary have created a similar mood in the camp,” Abbott said. “They put a lot of responsibility on the player and so you get on and do your thing.”
While Abbott admitted that there was a change in mental focus needed when it came to playing international cricket, he felt as if the change happened naturally for him.
“The professionalism and intensity just steps up,” he said. “That happens automatically. You look down at your shirt and you see the South African flag on your heart and everything just steps up a gear and you don’t even realise it.”