Indian-origin South African cricketer makes his dream Test debut

back icon
safari
02 Oct 2019 | 02:19 PM
authorPTI

Indian-origin South African cricketer makes his dream Test debut

Senuran Muthusamy realised his dream of playing international cricket for South Africa

heart

Share

Batting all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy realised his dream of playing international cricket for South Africa and he could not be happier that his debut is against the country of his origin: India. 

Though his family moved to South Africa from Tamil Nadu generations ago, the 25-year-old from Durban is no stranger to India, having toured here with South Africa A last year. 

He has been born and brought up in South Africa but says they are like “any other South Indian family” back home. 

“Our roots are from Chennai. I have still got family in Nagapattinam (about 300 kms from Chennai). Many generations have passed through but the Indian connect is very much there and our culture is very much Indian,” Muthusamy told PTI ahead of the first Test. 

“My parents were ecstatic when they found out about my selection (for South Africa) and my debut tour against India makes it even more special.”

Talking about his Indian lineage, Muthusamy said: “I do yoga back home in Durban which has the largest Indian population in South Africa. We visit temples regularly and some of my family even speaks Tamil. Unfortunately I don’t but I am slowly starting to learn the language.” 

With Keshav Maharaj, another South Africa cricketer of Indian origin, and Dane Piedt certain to feature in the eleven as the specialist spinners, left-arm spinner Muthusamy was not sure about his selection. 

However, the dry conditions here forced South Africa to rethink their plans and they included Muthusamy as the third specialist spinner, who considers himself more of a batsman. 

He has scored 3403 runs in first-class cricket, averaging 32.72 besides 129 wickets to his name at 28.65. 

Tour of India with the A side and stint at an academy in Bangalore has prepared him for the grind in sub-continental conditions. 

“You really got to deal with the heat. There is more pressure on the spinners here to win the game and it is about being consistent. It is the other way around back home. We come into play only in the fourth innings,” he said. 

“I have learnt a lot with the bat as well. Adjusting to the wickets in India where the bounce is a bit lower. You got to deal with reverse swing a lot more. I am sure I can learn lots more during my time here,” added Muthusamy, who believes his biggest strength is his wicket-taking ability. 

One would expect that he would name a South African or an Indian cricketer as his role model but Muthusamy has most respect reserved for the two famed Sri Lankans -- left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and the great Kumar Sangakkara. 

“I have really admired Herath and Sangakkara growing up. Sangakkara for just the way he went about his batting, his cricket, his life off the field. He is someone I have always looked up to. 

“I look up to others too like Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Bishan Bedi but those two I have enjoyed watching the most,” he said. 

The ability to take wickets and control run-rate at the same time has been the reason for his success in domestic cricket and he wants to emulate that for South Africa. 

“Another thing I would like to do is play more T20 cricket,” he added. 

Muthusamy, however, had to endure a tough first day in international cricket as he conceded 23 runs in five overs and was among the three specialist spinners who failed to get a breakthrough. 

“Conditions weren’t very spin friendly. We were expecting lot more turn. But yeah, it is always great to play cricket in India. Obviously a tough day in the office,” he said during a media interaction after India reached 202 for no loss at stumps on day one. 

“Sharma and Agarwal batted really nicely, we have to put in the hard yards tomorrow and hopefully come back stronger.” 

However, Muthusamy is confident that the ball will turn as the game goes on. 

“Looks like a good cricket wicket. It seamed a bit for an hour. Was a bit soft and tacky this morning. Gripped a little bit. Of course this wicket has been under cover for the past few days but we do know that it is really dry and dusty. I am sure it will deteriorate like any other sub-continent wicket,” he said.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
Senuran MuthusamyIndian-origin cricketer debuts for South AfricaSouth AfricaIndia v South Africa 20191st Test

Related Articles

safari
OPINION
The extinction of Protea fire
The decline of South Africa cricket is a function of multiple factors. The hope for revival lies with the most successful captain in Test history.
userSomesh Agarwal
12 Jan 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Desperate South Africa aim to salvage pride in Ranchi
Losing six Tests in a row on the Asian soil, South Africa are short of confidence
userShubh Agarwal
18 Oct 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
With series lost, what lies ahead for the Proteas at Ranchi?
Injury concerns, top-order woes are just some of the areas South Africa will have to address
userPramod Ananth
18 Oct 2019
safari
NEWS
We go to Pune with more confidence: Du Plessis
South Africa lost the first Test against India by 203 runs
userPTI
06 Oct 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
'Second-Innings' Shami blows South Africa away
South Africa lost seven wickets in the morning session on the fifth day
userSomesh Agarwal
06 Oct 2019
safari
NEWS
We didn't bowl badly, Rohit and Agarwal were too good: Maharaj
The hosts put up mammoth 502 for seven in their first innings
userPTI
03 Oct 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Agarwal's chanceless double buries South Africa
The Indian openers added 317 for the first wicket
userSomesh Agarwal
03 Oct 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Rohit makes stunning first impression as opener
India were 202 without loss before it started pouring down and day’s play had to be called off
userCricket.com Staff
02 Oct 2019
safari
NEWS
Want to replicate Ashwin and Jadeja's consistency: Maharaj
South African spinner says the Indian tour will help decide whether he belongs in international cricket
userPTI
30 Sep 2019
safari
NEWS
Du Plessis misses out, De Kock to lead SA in T20s against India
Du Plessis will continue to lead the Test team
userPTI
13 Aug 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved