Big Interview: Ambitious Kerwin Mungroo is still eager to make his mark for the Proteas
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The 6ft 6in South African fast bowler has always dreamed of representing the Proteas – from the moment he started dismissing his older brother Sheldon in the back garden as a child.
As of yet the 28-year-old – who can extract steepling bounce and seam movement with his 80mph-plus deliveries – has yet to get the call from the national selectors.
But he believes he has the capabilities to serve his country well – particularly in the white-ball game.
He has been on the field of play with and against some of the best players in the world such as Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers.
And can list the dismissals of players such as South African T20 star Reeza Hendricks and ex-West Indies skipper Chris Gayle on his CV.
And Mungroo insists he would not be fazed if he ever got the chance to pull on the green of his country.
“I think in the shorter format of the game; so the T20 and one-dayers – that’s where I feel like I have a good chance of playing for South Africa,” he said.
"I still see myself playing for South Africa. I know I have the potential, it’s just a matter of me putting out the numbers and if I do, I think I will get selected for South Africa.
"But if I don’t put out the numbers then I won’t play – that’s the reality of it.
"I believe that if I do well, I will get rewarded but if I don’t do well, then I won’t.
“I just have to play to my potential and I feel it will be good enough to get selected.
"I have played against some good players like Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Kagiso Rabada; I played with Faf du Plessis and I have played with Dane Vilas for two years.
"So I have played with and against a lot of great players which is a plus.
"I am a great believer that if I am bowling for Leyland in the Northern League or to someone like AB de Villiers, a good ball will always remain a good ball.
"If I execute a good ball then I will always have a chance of doing well and taking wickets.
"I was never fazed when I played against or with these players. I was never scared.
"It’s normal to get nervous when you come up against these players but I have never backed down from any battle with anyone.”
Should Mungroo lead Leyland to cup glory – he has skippered the team to T20 finals day – then it could further his international claims as well as delighting the Fox Lane faithful.
The league title may look a long shot after an inconsistent start, but the paid man is convinced he and his team-mates can win a cup this year
"I said to the lads; even if we are not quite doing as well in the league – we can still do well in the cups,” said Mungroo.
"I am captain of the T20 and 40 overs team so we obviously reached finals day of the T20 and if we can reach the final of the 40 overs competition then I think it will be a good season for us.
"In terms of the league, last year the team finished seventh and we should aim to finish higher than that this year.
"I don’t think we can be competing for the top two after the way we have started, but the top six is realistic.”
So far this summer, Mungroo has captured 28 wickets at an average of just under 27 with a best of 7-21.
He has been praised by his captain James Rounding for the way he has performed although at times has been without luck.
"Some of the conditions have not been helpful to me," he said. “They haven’t been seamer friendly, more for the spinners.
"But on the wickets which have been more seamer friendly, I have managed to take wickets.
"I am not totally happy with the way I have bowled, but I was saying to the guys that I did not play a lot of cricket last season due to injury.
"But as the days and weeks are going by, I feel that I am bowling better and getting more in rhythm.”
Mungroo admits he looks back at his childhood growing up in Durban with fondness.
His brother – who plays club cricket back home – ribs him that the only reason he made it as a first-class performer instead of himself was his height.
"He always says that I made it because I am taller than him – I am not sure about that,” Mungroo said with a laugh.
“He is three years older than me and he used to like batting when we were younger, so he would always convince me to bowl.
"So I would be spending my time bowling to him all the time.”
Mungroo is one of three overseas stars who are playing at Fox Lane this season.
Australian Zak Willox, who was born in UK, is Leyland’s highest run scorer, while Antonio Providence – who is playing second team cricket due to overseas rules – hails from Trinidad and Tobago.