Heinrich Klassen credits South Africa legend AB de Villiers for his brilliant knock against Australia

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Centurion, September 16 (IANS) Wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klassen helped South Africa level the 5-match series with a sensational 174 in 83 deliveries to power his side to 416/5 in 50 overs in the fourth ODI against Australia.

Klaasen managed to smash the fourth-fastest 150 in men's ODIs and the eighth-highest score by a South African batter in men's ODIs.

Australia fell short of the target by 164 runs and lost the match, which squared the five-match series 2-2.

Talking to ESPNcricinfo after the match, Klaasen discussed how his approach towards the game changed after seeing his role model Ab De Villiers bat.

“You look up to some role models and you want to be like them -- like AB de Villiers. You want to play all the shots but the genius behind guys like AB was knowing when to play them,” Klaasen said.

“For me, I explored a lot with it and it didn't work. It was about maturing into my game and knowing my options are,” he added.

Klassen credits mindset as an approach to performing at the best level and adjusting for a long time.

“What's changed in my career is that I am playing every ball as it is and for me to stay in that mindset. I won't recap what I have done the previous ball or think of what I might do the next ball.

“Tim David asked me how many sixes I hit, and I said I didn't know. It shows my mindset was good and I was only focusing on what was coming in that moment. I have to go back and look at it. It was awesome out there and you don't often get that feeling -- maybe once or twice in your career.”

Klassen after getting dropped from the South African squad in 2021, went to the domestic circuit and worked on the areas where he was lagging.

“The coaches said to me, 'You are using too many options. Let's limit ourselves. I am batting within myself at the start to make sure I get a good platform, and then I can just react to every ball: stand still, watch the ball and wherever I need to hit it.

“My body will take over and just react. It took me a couple of months to get back to my best and a lot of hard work.”

The decider of the five-match ODI series will be played on Sunday at the Wanderers Stadium.