If you opted to advance down the crease to chip it over the inner ring, your risked being stumped and flirted with disaster, he explained.
Prior to the second unofficial test against India A, Van Zyl heard that one of his close friends had tragically passed away in a car accident. He considered pulling out of the second match against India A and received permission, but decided at the last minute to stay on.
Despite the bereavement, Van Zyl showed his mettle.
The past two months, Van Zyl has served notice of his ability to adapt to his new batting position as opener and replacement of the now-retired Alviro Petersen.
He contributed 34 and an unbeaten 33 for South Africa in the first test against Bangladesh and averaged more than 57 in the two-match series for South Africa A in India.
“I had to stay patient throughout my innings and not take unnecessary risks. Whenever the attack lost their length, I used the cut shot, or I employed the sweep whenever they strayed, just to upset their line,” he said.
Van Zyl scored a century for South Africa on test debut in Centurion in December 2014.
Arguably one of his finest moments for the Cape Cobras came in 2013/2014 when he slammed 933 runs for the Cape Cobras during their triumphant all-conquering Sunfoil Series campaign.