T20 Proteas seamer, Kyle Abbott, says his attitude and mindset have been the support behind his death bowling skills. Abbott’s match figures of 3/21 in his allotted four overs in the first T20 International on Wednesday highlighted his temperament and skills in the death overs, and set up the Proteas’ seven-wicket win in the opening match of the three-match series against Australia. “Generally it’s been an attitude towards bowling at the backend. People pay money to see bowlers getting hit outside the ground these days unfortunately. To me it’s been a mindset where I want to take it on, I know that I’m on a hiding to nothing but on a night like yesterday when it pays off, it feels good. There has been a lot of training behind the scenes, especially not having played much on the tour in New Zealand, and trying to keep that practice at match intensity. Allan Donald has been brilliant with that; we have trained at a high intensity by ourselves. It’s been a part of the game that I have targeted to take on, it’s all an attitude adjustment and wanting those last overs and enjoying them,” he said.
Abbott hasn’t been a regular in both the ODI and T20I squads, but has used his frustrations to his benefit to lead with a mature perspective and game plan. “I look at the guys who are in the team ahead of me; Dale (Steyn), Morne (Morkel) and Vern (Philander), their records speak for themselves. I’m not going to walk in and knock them off their perch straight away. We are all here with one goal in mind, which is to play and win for South Africa. We are a family and that is why we tour well away from home. Every guy in the 15 is pulling in the same direction, nobody takes frustrations or personal grief anywhere else,” said Abbott. The 27-year-old says the responsibility lies within himself when it comes to match readiness and preparation, despite the time on the sidelines, but hopes his ad hoc performances will seal his place as a regular starter for the Proteas, “That’s out of my control. I have no control over what happens back home, I have control of what I do in this team, how I practice and how I prepare for games; when I play that is what I can control.”