Big shoes to fill: Fortune wants to take advantage of Maharaja’s absence
Having been given a great opportunity when a vacancy appeared on the national limited overs cricket team, spin bowler Bjorn Fortuin hopes he can take advantage of this and kick off his international career fully with 50 overs if he is given the opportunity to play for South Africa against the West Indies in the ODI series starting in East London on Thursday.
Although he played three ODI matches for the Proteas, Fortuin has struggled to secure his place on the SA team over the past few years.
However, he has shown his ability to perform at the highest level, taking 14 career wickets in 13 T20 internationals with an average of 19.28.
He also showed off his form by finishing fifth on the top scoring list in the recent inaugural SA20 competition and also showed off his ability at bat by recently scoring his fourth first-class career century for the Lions in the 4-day CSA streak.
Now, with veteran spinner Keshav Maharaj Missing in an ODI series against the West Indies while tending to a torn Achilles tendon (which would require surgery and take him out of the game for an extended period of time), Fortuin is hoping he can shine in the absence of his esteemed compatriot.
“I would not say that my name is carved in stone. There are many more cricket games to come (before the final South African squad for the World Cup is selected in October), but the vacant seat now puts the responsibility on me,” said Fortuin.
“Losing Keshav is a high standard that needs to be upheld, but I just try to take it day by day and focus on the job at hand.”
ALSO READ: South America vs West Indies: Five players to watch
Fortuin hoped to convert his domestic results into fine form for both himself and the national team, and while the 28-year-old left-hander was eager to shine with the ball for Proteus, he also wanted to impress with one.
“There’s been quite a few performances this season that I’m proud of, and I’m just trying to develop what I’m doing – where it’s not up to standard, trying to improve it, and where it’s there, just seeing where I can raise the bar,” he said. .
“Looking back at last season, I feel confident not only in my performances for the Paarl Royals, but also for my home team, the Lions.
Having won a two-legged Test series 2-0 against the West Indies on home soil, South Africa will host tourists in three ODI matches starting this weekend.