It is an open secret that Van Zyl will open the innings for the South African test team in tandem with Dean Elgar in Bangladesh later in 2015. He will vacate his SA middle-order position and move to the top to replace the now retired Alviro Petersen.
Van Zyl scored 933 runs in the Sunfoil Series competition last season, while Justin Ontong managed 927 runs.
These two batsmen collectively played in only six Sunfoil Series matches this season, averaging 40.40 and 39.66 respectively.
The Cobras top- and middle-order have misfired the past season, and has rarely scaled the heights of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014.
Their inability to establish first-innings scores of 450 or more has been at the heart of the Cobras’ faltering four-day campaign.
Van Zyl said he cannot really explain the struggles, but admits the wickets of the last two Sunfoil Series games challenged the technique and temperament of the Cobras.
The Cobras pride themselves in their resilience and fighting spirit, and he promised that he will be defiant as a batsman in the final three Sunfoil Series league games of the season.
“We have not been able to produce big partnerships, while the top-order has not scored centuries regularly enough,” he added.
Van Zyl, previously a number-3 batsman, said he did not need to alter or improve his technique to make the step up to number one.
“The only difference is that you are facing the bowlers when they are a bit fresher, while you are required to open the batting and walk out to the middle straight after being in the field for a while,” he added.
Van Zyl has been in good form this season. The only area of concern is that he has not always converted promising starts into massive totals.
He managed 65 for South Africa A against the England Lions and 29 for the SA team at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, but could not quite proceed to three figures.
Yet, the stylish left-hander scored an unbeaten century on test debut, and might just resurrect the top- and middle-order with his excellent powers of concentration in the Sunfoil Series match against the Chevrolet Warriors at the Newlands cricket ground starting on Thursday.