'Gun man' Levi hopes to come out blazing
EXPLOSIVE South African opening batsman Richard Levi is focused on dispelling the perception that he has a weakness against spin bowling.
He went a little way towards doing that during the World Twenty20 warm-up game against New Zealand this week when the Black Caps opened against him with Nathan McCullum and Ronnie Hira.
Levi clubbed 24 at much better than a run-a-ball.
While he looked reasonably comfortable on Monday, far greater tests await him when the Proteas get their tournament under way tomorrow.
It was not difficult to note the frustration when he was asked about his recent form.
"People saying you have a tendency to get out to a certain type of bowling makes you work harder at it. But obviously, people will continue," said Levi yesterday.
"So, it becomes expected and you know how to prepare for it and play against it. It's now not as much of a problem as it's made out to be."
Since bursting onto the international scene with that 117 off just 51 balls in February, Levi has managed only 52 runs in his other six official matches for South Africa.
"Obviously, when you are not scoring you feel under pressure because you want to contribute. There are always little things that can be tweaked. I've done this over the last week or so.
"But playing and travelling and playing and travelling doesn't really allow for the time to work the kinks out. I've had a couple of days to work on a few things and I'm feeling better."
He also admitted he was trying not to be too reliant on scoring through the legside.
Most of the runs in his hundred in Hamilton were bludgeoned on that side of the wicket.
Levi is expected to open with Jacques Kallis when the side face Zimbabwe in the first game tomorrow. Playing against one of the minnows first up may present Levi with an ideal chance to get in, score a big one and regain some confidence.
He is to South Africa what other teams call their "gun man".
The Proteas will be hoping Levi comes out blazing.