Photo Credit: SA20 League
England opener Phil Salt was a major draw card at Centurion for the Pretoria Capitals last season. Initially in partnership with England teammate Will Jacks and then Sri Lankan international Kusal Mendis, Salt was the touchpaper that lit up the Capitals at the top of the order.
The explosive right-hander finished up Betway SA20 Season 1 as his team’s second leading run-scorer in the competition with 238 runs, but more importantly the runs were scored at a strike-rate of 152.56.
Furthermore, the SA20 experience raised Salt’s global profile with him going on to enjoy a productive maiden Indian Premier League season with the Delhi Capitals where he averaged 27.25 with a strike-rate of 163.91.
But it was on the international stage where Salt has since exploded. With England rebuilding their white-ball teams after a disappointing 50-over World Cup defence in India, Salt joined his captain and Paarl Royals star Jos Buttler as England’s new opening pair in T20I cricket.
It has proved to be a masterstroke with Salt blitzing consecutive T20I centuries against a power-packed West Indies outfit. The second century, 119 off only 57 balls in Trinidad and Tobago, was the highest score by an Englishman in T20I cricket.
These fireworks displays have catapulted Salt to No. 2 on the ICC T20I batters rankings.
Capitals supporters are well-accustomed to Salt peppering the Centurion grass banks on the leg-side and also the sightscreen down the ground.
But the 27-year-old has worked extensively on expanding his game since, and they can now look forward to a full 360-degree display from the Englishman in Season 2.
He has become particularly good at pouncing on anything over-pitched with Salt now looking to carve it through and over the off-side.
“I’ve worked specifically on hitting sixes over the off-side. That’s an area I’ve been working on for a good while so it’s good to see it’s working.”
Salt will go head-to-head with his national skipper Buttler in blockbuster match-up in the Capitals’ Season 2 opener against the Paarl Royals at Boland Park on Friday, 12 January.
And then just two days later, Centurion will fling open its gates for Salt and co. in the first home match on Sunday, 14 January.