Heinrich Klaasen’s outstanding footwork has earned high praise from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar was in awe of Klaasen’s remarkable performance for SunRisers Hyderabad against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2023 match on May 18. Klaasen, showcasing his exceptional batting skills, smashed his maiden IPL hundred, scoring 104 runs off just 51 balls. His magnificent knock helped SunRisers post a challenging total of 186 for 5 in their penultimate match of the season in Hyderabad.
Klaasen’s approach to handling spin bowling was particularly impressive. Unlike many overseas batsmen, he maintained a deep position in his crease, allowing him to play shots from the backfoot. This tactic prevented the spinners from gaining an advantage over him. Klaasen exhibited his dominance against leg-spinner Karn Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed, smashing 6 sixes and 8 boundaries in his innings. He reached his century in only 49 balls, making it the second-fastest hundred by an SRH batsman in the history of the IPL, following David Warner’s 43-ball century against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017.
Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to highlight the qualities that distinguish Heinrich Klaasen from other overseas batsmen who have excelled in the IPL over the years. Tendulkar praised Klaasen’s simplistic and uncomplicated footwork, describing it as one of the best he has witnessed recently. He expressed his delight in watching such traditional batting skills on display.
Former South African batsman AB de Villiers also commended Klaasen, ranking him as one of the finest players against spin bowling he has ever seen. Klaasen’s impressive performance came at a crucial moment in the match when SunRisers had lost their openers Rahul Tripathi and Abhishek Sharma early on. However, Klaasen’s clean-hitting prowess swiftly shifted the pressure back onto the RCB bowlers.
In the IPL 2023 season, Klaasen has been the standout performer for SunRisers Hyderabad. He has accumulated 430 runs in 11 matches, including a century and two fifties, at an impressive strike rate of nearly 150. With this remarkable century, Klaasen became the second SRH batsman after Harry Brook to achieve the milestone in the IPL 2023.