MAKING THE STEP UP: New Protea Heino Kuhn

And at 33, a lot of fans would have labelled him oor die muur.

But Kuhn believes his time is now.

With Stephen Cook out of the squad, it is expected that Kuhn will open the batting for the Proteas when they play against England in the first Test next Thursday.

And of finally getting his opportunity to represent his country in the Test whites, Kuhn says: “I have matured a lot over the years as a batter and as a cricketer.

“I believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe five years ago wasn’t my time.

“I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”

Facing the first ball is not something new to Kuhn as he has done so for the Titans in the past and recently for the South Africa A side during their tour of England.

He adds: “Opening the batting everywhere is quite tough, but it is a lot more challenging in South Africa and England.

“My job is to take the newness off the ball. I’ll have to try and leave as well as I can, know where my off-stump is and take it from there.”

Meanwhile, it is expected that Dean Elgar will captain the side with regular skipper Faf du Plessis still in South Africa.