Too much bat bad for cricket, says Prince

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CAPE Co­bras coach Ash­well Prince be­lieves the avalanche of runs scored on the open­ing week­end of Sun­foil Se­ries cricket may be detri­men­tal to South African cricket in the long term.

Twelve cen­turies were struck across three matches played in Cen­tu­rion, Johannesburg and Bloem­fontein. There were eight alone in only three in­nings at the Man­guang Oval in the clash be­tween the VKB Knights and the Co­bras – a match that yielded 1 349 runs.

“It is dif­fi­cult to com­ment on the other pitches, but the one that we played on was def­i­nitely not good for SA cricket. It was a flat pitch to start off, they had two spin­ners and it didn’t even break up enough for the spin­ners to come into the game,” Prince (pic­tured) said.

“We were say­ing that you could bat for an­other week on that pitch. That’s how solid and com­pact it was in terms of how it was rolled. For me, it can’t be good for cricket. If a pitch is bare, then at least the spin­ners must come in and play a big role, and even they couldn’t play a role. I think bat dom­i­nated way too much in our fix­ture and we would like to play on pitches that of­fer the bowlers more.”

If there was any­thing to take from the bowlers’ grave­yard, it was the fact that the Co­bras’ bowl­ing unit would have put a good amount of miles in their legs early on in the sea­son. For a unit that is rel­a­tively young, es­pe­cially in the ab­sence of se­nior bowlers such as Vernon Phi­lan­der and Wayne Par­nell, it can only bode well ahead of the trip to Port El­iz­a­beth this week­end where the Co­bras face the War­riors.

“I am pretty sure the bowlers would have learnt a lot from that out­ing,” Prince said. “If you didn’t have a clear plan you were star­ing down the bar­rel. Both teams were bat­ting com­fort­ably at four runs to the over. That’s how good the pitch was. It was a fast out­field too. At times, there were in­di­vid­u­als who were go­ing at six runs to the over if you weren’t hit­ting your ar­eas.”

The Co­bras are forced to make two changes to their line-up this week. Both are in the bat­ting de­part­ment with Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma join­ing the

ASH­WELL PRINCE

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