Wayne Parnell's spirited career-best knock of 56 in the first ODI against Pakistan on Wednesday stems from a new-found confidence the 24 year-old has developed in his batting. Parnell says tapping into the mentality of some of the world’s top batsmen in the Proteas’ change room has given him the self-belief to be more confident out in the middle.
"I’m drawing knowledge from them," he said of his batting peers. "Having the wealth of experience in the change room for a young guy like me is great. Just picking up key points from them has helped me massively and given me confidence in my batting."
Parnell is a bowling all-rounder, but proved on Wednesday evening that he can be primed for the important all-rounder role within the team.
"Bowling is my strength but contributing with the bat is vital for me as well," Parnell, who boasts two List A centuries and seven first-class half-centuries said. "I have been working hard on all aspects of my game and I'm quite happy to have contributed with the bat but even more so with the ball."
He says the determination to cement his place in the ODI squad has been one of the key the influences behind his current limited overs form. He has had an intermittent ODI career since making his debut in 2009, which has often been hampered by injury and inconsistency.
His recent comeback from a groin injury has been an impressive one, and will hopefully pave the way for more match-winning performances.
"Being out of this environment for a long time made me hungry to get back," Parnell remarked. "Going back to the domestic scene and putting in good performances has helped. Once you put in the performances people start noticing, so I'm really ecstatic to be back in this environment and happy to contribute to us winning yesterday."
Meanwhile, the Proteas went back to the drawing board on Thursday afternoon, and remain committed to improving the continuous let down from the top-order batsmen.
"It’s always nice as a bowling unit to defend a low total successfully," he added. "That will give us confidence but we are making no mistakes about the fact that we can improve and get better in all aspects of our game."