Warwickshire Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace believes that Pieter Malan has the ability and the "inner steel" to become a big success in county cricket.
The 31-year-old South African has signed as an overseas player for Warwickshire for 2021 and is available for all cricket, though it is his potential impact in the red ball game that excites Farbrace most.
Malan has played three Test matches for South Africa, against England in January last year, and has a first class batting average of 44.36 from 156 innings with 33 centuries.
He will not play any 50-over cricket for the Bears, as they will use that tournament in 2021 to maximise opportunities for home-grown talent. But he could figure in the Vitality Blast and is seen as a linchpin in the top order in the Bob Willis Trophy.
Any batsman who averages over 40 in all formats is clearly a good player, but Farbrace reckons Malan’s influence will stretch far beyond run-scoring in a dressing room alongside the likes of emerging youngsters Rob Yates and Dan Mousley.
“Pieter is a very impressive man,” the Director of Cricket said.
“He is friendly, likeable and polite, but with real inner steel. He is coming over to play county cricket for the first time, so he has a point to prove and I know how much he wants to come to the Bears and score some serious runs.Paul Farbrace
“I am surprised that he hasn’t played more Test cricket, though of course that chapter of his career may well not yet be closed. He is a very fine batsman.
“He is coming to us principally as a batsman but can bowl useful seamers as well and he is a fantastic team man – he kept wicket in his game in South Africa last week!
“But it is as a batsman that he will bring us most and it will be fantastic for the young guys in the dressing room to get to know him and see how he goes about his work and pick his brains.
“When we played Glamorgan at Cardiff last year, Dan Mousley batted for a couple of hours with Ian Bell and for a young player to watch and learn from a world class player at such close quarters is something money can’t buy. That is the sort of influence that Pieter will bring to the Bears.”