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Heinrich Klaasen: 'I hit one or two today that put a smile on my face'

Klaasen thankful for the break Sunrisers got - they last played on May 8 - saying they will go into the playoffs mentally fresh

Heinrich Klaasen steered Sunrisers in the chase of 215, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2024, Hyderabad, May 19, 2024

Heinrich Klaasen steered Sunrisers in the chase of 215  •  BCCI

Heinrich Klaasen will go into the IPL 2024 playoffs feeling like he is back at his best, having worked his way through a slight drop off in form. He hit 42 off 26 against Punjab Kings on Sunday evening in Hyderabad to help his team chase down 215 with relative ease, hitting a couple of shots along the way that "put a smile" on his face.
"I haven't hit it nicely over this period of time," Klaasen said after the game. "So I went back into the nets to try and figure it out, [and] got something that helped. And I finally hit one or two today that put a smile on my face."
Klaasen had hit 253 runs in his first six innings this season, at an average of 63.25 and a strike rate of 199.21. But his next six knocks, including this one against PBKS in Hyderabad, brought him 128 runs at an average of 25.60 and a strike rate of 158.02. This run included a 2 off four balls against Mumbai Indians, and a 20 off 21 balls against Chennai Super Kings, both in SRH losses.
Asked what he felt had been going wrong for him when his form fell away, Klaasen said: "I haven't looked at the ball at all. And I was moving way too much. And then I found something. I challenged myself in the nets against the other guys, [like] the spinners. And all of a sudden, everything just clicked again.
"So I just went back to the basics of standing dead still, watching the ball, and just reacting. And finally it came [off], so I'm very pleased."
What would have helped Klaasen in this regard was the long break SRH got - partly by design, partly due to the weather. Before today, they had last played against Lucknow Super Giants at home on May 8, before having a match against Gujarat Titans - also at home - washed out without a toss on May 16. Klaasen admitted that was a blessing in disguise.
"It couldn't have come at a better time for us, to be honest," he said. "It has been a long couple of months. The schedule, I reckon that timing was the best for us. End of the IPL, into the playoffs, will be nice and fresh mentally, and obviously [then] into the [T20] World Cup. So that break was, I reckon, sent from above."
Klaasen and Co had to wait to know which playoff they will feature in, though. The win against PBKS put them second on the points table, one point ahead of Rajasthan Royals in third. Royals played table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in the final league game of the season, later in the evening.
"Yeah, we'll definitely be awake and supporting KKR tonight," Klaasen said with a smile. The smile would have remained as news of that game being washed out came through, confirming SRH's top-two finish.