South Africa's middle-order batter Rassie van der Dussen has said he has always been an avid fan of the Rajasthan Royals after securing an IPL contract ahead of the upcoming season. The right-handed batter added he can't wait to link up with the franchise.
Although Van der Dussen initially went unsold, he attracted a bid from the Royals on day two of the mega auction in the final session. His base price was set at Rs 1 crore, and the franchise grabbed him at the same price. The 33-year old could be a massive part of their middle order.
Van der Dussen has said that he has followed Rajasthan Royals passionately since the former Proteas captain Graeme Smith started playing for them. The Pretoria-born player expressed his excitement, and said, as quoted by News24.
"It feels good to be acknowledged, and I've always been a Rajasthan Royals fan since the early days of the IPL when the likes of Graeme Smith played there. It's a team I've always followed; I'm very happy to be representing the franchise, and it's an exciting prospect for me."
The 33-year old has a compelling T20I record, averaging 38.87 in 34 games, scoring 933 runs and striking at 130.85. In T20 cricket, he has 4129 runs in 140 fixtures at 38.23.
"I feel like I'm at a stage of my career where I've got most aspects of my game covered" - Rassie van der Dussen
Van der Dussen further said that he has developed into a more accomplished batter, and adapted well to the middle-order role by facing challenging conditions.
The veteran feels better prepared for the lucrative league.
"It's been a long time coming. and having started my career as an opener, my game required some evolution. I feel like I'm at a stage of my career where I've got most aspects of my game covered from a versatility perspective."
"Playing in different conditions over the past few years has been really challenging, but I felt I've adapted well. and that's key for a middle-order batter. One has to be adaptable. and have a particular set of skills in all aspects, as India will be a different challenge."