McLaren continues to grow more confident of his chances of playing Test cricket again
South Africa all-rounder Ryan McLaren has announced his intentions of regaining a spot in the country’s Test squad just days after receiving a new national contract from Cricket South Africa (CSA).
McLaren Test debut against England in 2010 did not turn many heads as he only secured one wicket, but that of Paul Collingwood, who had been decimating South Africa.
Three years on and McLaren has still yet to play another Test match since the national team are in no need of another all-rounder, but all that could change very soon, as veteran Jacques Kallis approaches ever closer to retirement.
“I’d love to add to my one Test cap,” McLaren told ESPNcricinfo. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about and working towards very hard.”
McLaren has become one of South Africa’s regularly used players in the limited overs format though and he continues to impress with the amount of damage he can cause with both bat and ball.
In the past few months, McLaren has been working closely alongside bowling coach Allan Donald and the results are being shown, as he took 11 wickets in his last four ODIs.
McLaren has attributed his use of shorter pitched deliveries to the advice given to him by Donald.
“Allan always encourages us to be more aggressive and that’s what I’ve been trying to do as well,” he said.
As the number of impressive performances he has had in the limited overs format continues to rise, McLaren grows more confident each day and is determined to return to Test cricket.
“I’ve been given a few more opportunities and I feel a bit more comfortable in the environment,” he said. “I’m just really enjoying it now under Gary Kirsten. He treats us all like adults and make us take responsibility for our own performances.”
However, McLaren has also offered to sacrifice his place from South Africa’s Champions Trophy squad just to allow Kallis one final chance to play in the tournament, as he believes “it’s good for South Africa if Kallis plays as long as he can”.
McLaren is currently in India representing the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and he hopes to pick up pieces of advice from some of the more experienced members of the squad and use it to his advantage.
“It’s always helpful to play in different conditions and to share dressing rooms with players from around the world,” he said. “I just want to learn as much as possible.”