Dewald Brevis. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
- Former Proteas top-order batter Herschelle Gibbs reckons teenager Dewald Brevis should be playing four-day cricket to grow into a “complete batsman”.
- Brevis made his mark on the domestic and international scene this year, but the 19-year-old is yet to play first-class cricket.
- Gibbs says he is not sure how a batter like Brevis can develop if he focuses solely on T20 cricket.
Former Proteas star Herschelle Gibbs believes youngster Dewald Brevis should forgo some T20 cricket to focus on the longer format of the game.
Brevis burst onto the scene this year, starring for South Africa at the U19 Cricket World Cup, and went on to make his Indian Premier League (IPL) and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) debuts.
The 19-year-old became prominent on the local scene as he smashed the highest-ever individual domestic T20 score in last month’s CSA T20 Challenge.
Playing for the Titans, Brevis blasted 163 off 57 balls (13 fours and 13 sixes) against the Knights in Potchefstroom.
Brevis’ century came off just 35 balls, which was the fastest-ever domestic T20 ton.
Brevis eventually ended as the second-highest run-scorer in CSA’s T20 Challenge, as he scored 327 runs in his nine games for the Titans.
Following his phenomenal form for the Titans, many were speculating when the teenager would make his Proteas debut.
However, Brevis has yet to make his first-class debut for the Titans as the CSA 4-Day Franchise Series is currently under way.
Gibbs, who played 90 Tests, 248 ODIs and 23 T20Is, insists Brevis needs to hone his game and get the much-needed growth from four-day cricket.
“He’s in T20 form and he is a wonderful talent. I think I speak on behalf of a lot of batsmen that have arrived on the scene a little bit earlier than the rest, you see growth in the first-class game,” Gibbs said at the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational last week.
“From a batting perspective, you don’t grow in T20 cricket because there’s only a certain amount that you can do in 30 or 50 balls.
“There’s a lot of emotion, not only technical ability, temperament. He still needs to go through that and time will tell.”
While Gibbs admits he’s never spoken to Brevis, he hopes the youngster does not rely too much on his T20 credentials.
“We should maybe speak about him in two or three years’ time. See where he is at and where his headspace and mindset [are]… what his goals are, etc…” said Gibbs.
“I’ve never spoken to [him] so I don’t know what his goals are. Does he want to score 30 Test centuries? Does he want to score 30 ODI hundreds, whatever it might be.
“What we have [seen] from him is his T20 form because that is all he’s got to show for now. Imagine being a cricketer so young and having to only face 30 or 40 balls every game you play. How are you doing to develop?”
Gibbs used Australian batter David Warner as an example and urged Brevis to become a complete batter by grafting in whites.
“You know it’s something for him to think about going forward. Something for his mentors, for the teams that he plays for, how they’re going to develop his talent and batsmanship and be a complete player,” said Gibbs.
“Imagine having the same conditions game after game, you’re going to limit yourself for growth with regards to being a complete batsman.
“And if I can give him some advice, I would tell him: ‘Listen, sacrifice one or two of the T20 leagues and play more four-day cricket’. I use the example of David Warner, he was founded in T20 cricket, but he himself said if he hadn’t played Test or first-class cricket, he would never be the player he is today.
“The money has got nothing to do with it, the more complete player you are, the more money you’ll make. What separates the really good from the great?”
Brevis is not in the Titans team currently taking on Lions at the Wanderers in a 4-Day encounter.