Cape Town — Marco Jansen must feel like he is still dreaming at the moment.
It was only a few years ago that he and his twin brother, Duan, were bowling in the nets to Indian legends such as Virat Kohli at the Wanderers.
Fast forward a bit and the 21-year-old has already had a season of Indian Premier League behind him in addition to playing a major part in the Proteas preserving their 100% Test series record against India on home soil.
The former "net-bowler" now also has the confidence to spar with his Mumbai Indians teammate Jasprit Bumrah out in the middle of the Bullring in just his second Test
For a self-proclaimed "introvert" that is quite some transformation, although it's never a bad thing for any cricket team if its 2.06m tall fast bowler possesses a bit of "white-line" fever.
"All those emotions just show all the passion and love that I have for the game. If there is one place where I feel I can show my emotions its on the field," Jansen said.
"Off the field I am a very chilled guy. I am a bit of an introvert to be honest. But when I am on the field that's the one place where I want to express myself especially playing the sport that I love and doing what I am doing what I've wanted ever since I was a child."
But was he not afraid that he might upset one of the senior members of arguably the richest T20 franchise in the world?
"We obviously played together for the Mumbai Indians and we are good friends but sometimes out in the middle it does get heated," Jansen said.
"When you play for your country, obviously you are not going to back down for anyone. He did the same as well. There are no hard feelings. It's just in the heat of the moment. Two players giving it all for their country."
Marco Jansen had an exceptional debut series for the #Proteas 🇿🇦— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 17, 2022
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Jansen's metoric rise is set to continue this week after he was called up to the Proteas ODI squad for the three-match series against India starting on Wednesday at Boland Park.
It was a bit of surprise considering South Africa suddenly have an abundance of seam-bowling all-round options at their disposal. Andile Phehlukwayo and the former Kolpak Wayne Parnell started in the first ODI against the Netherlands which was abandoned due to rain with the series later being postponed due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant discovered in South Africa.
Both all-rounders have once again been included along with Dwaine Pretorius, who was also in the squad to face the Dutch. Jansen is aware that he may face a challenge to be presented with an ODI debut in Paarl on Wednesday, but the way his season has gone thus far which includes 19 Test wickets at 16.47 already then anything is indeed possible.
"That's not a call (ODI selection) I expected to be honest. Obviously I am very glad to be selected for the squad but I just want to go there and learn as much as possible," he said.
All three matches of the series are day games set to start at 10am. The temperatures in the Winelands are set to be above 40 degrees Celsius for both matches.