Wiser Wayne set to go

Now he en­joys do­ing the job al­lo­cated to him in a team and lets the sta­tis­tics take care of them­selves

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS

IT’S hard to know if to­mor­row rep­re­sents the third, fourth or even fifth com­ing of Wayne Par­nell. The po­ten­tial has al­ways been there, the end prod­uct less so, and fun­nily enough, it’s the end prod­uct that’s the least of his con­cerns as he seeks to take ad­van­tage of get­ting an­other op­por­tu­nity at the high­est level.

A wiser Par­nell faced the me­dia at the Wan­der­ers yes­ter­day, keen to em­pha­sise that in the seven years since he made his Test de­but at that ground he’d learned that pace and tak­ing wick­ets were mere out­comes.

Ful­fil­ment could be found in sim­ply do­ing the job ex­pected of him and if the re­wards went to some­one else, then it wasn’t a big deal.

“Some­times the pub­lic wants to see that 100 or that fiver but in the team the guys would know if I’ve ex­e­cuted my role,” Par­nell said.

“If I take no wick­ets in this Test match but I’ve ex­e­cuted my role I’ll be happy with that but I’ll also be happy if I take a fiver. When I started in my ca­reer, I was more wor­ried about the re­sult and the stats but now I’m more fo­cused on what the cap­tain wants from me in a par­tic­u­lar spell.”

It’s an at­ti­tude that seems to have served him well re­cently es­pe­cially as he’s been play­ing more reg­u­larly for his fran­chise, the Cape Co­bras.

“If you look back be­fore last sea­son, I’d play two games, then was back to tour­ing with the Proteas... just play­ing con­sis­tently and im­ple­ment­ing things I’d be work­ing on in train­ing and to see my group­ings where I landed the ball and match fig­ures and to see that hard work pay div­i­dends has been pleas­ing.”

And so with in­juries and Kol­pak con­tracts hit­ting the Proteas’ at­tack, Par­nell is back again for his fifth Test, now with an op­por­tu­nity to ce­ment a spot in the start­ing team which has a fairly busy sched­ule in the short to medium term with Tests in New Zealand and Eng­land.

“It’s not been frus­trat­ing for me,” Par­nell said about not play­ing more of­ten. “I don’t think in the past I was close to the play­ing XI, with the likes of Dale Steyn, who’s taken a cou­ple of hun­dred wick­ets, Morne Morkel has done well, Ver­non Phi­lan­der has just taken his 150th wicket and Kag­iso’s (Rabada) done well since he came into the side... there’s been bowlers ahead of me in the longer for­mat. I’ve un­der­stood that.”

Com­ing off a four-day game for the Co­bras where he bowled 46 overs on a slow pitch in Oudt­shoorn, Par­nell will be pleased that he can try and take ad­van­tage of what looks like be­ing a Wan­der­ers pitch tai­lor made for the quick bowlers.

There was a rel­a­tively thick grass cov­er­ing on the sur­face yes­ter­day, but de­pend­ing on what the home team wanted it would ei­ther be left that way or shaved some time to­day.

Home town hero Stephen Cook, who calls the Wan­der­ers a sec­ond home, said the pitch will quicken up as it bakes un­der the sun but that the grounds­man was wary of cracks open­ing up af­ter what had been – un­til last week­end at least – a very dry sum­mer on the Highveld.

“This sea­son, be­cause it’s been drier there have been some cracks, but with the mois­ture now, those cracks might stay to­gether a bit more, but there ought to be the usual pace and bounce. It may be a bit slow to start but from the sec­ond day it should quicken up,” Cook re­marked.

The Lions skip­per also said that given his ex­pe­ri­ence of the ground he’d lean to­wards start­ing four seam­ers which would mean that in ad­di­tion to Par­nell, Duanne Olivier would make his de­but.

“At the Lions every game here there is a de­bate about four seam­ers... spin has gen­er­ally been in­ef­fec­tive in terms of tak­ing wick­ets, but it has been used ef­fec­tively to con­tain.

“Some­one like Ke­shav (Ma­haraj) who has shown his abil­ity to con­tain could do that job, and al­low the quicks to re­ally come in hard at the other end, so even if he doesn’t get the wick­ets he sort of ‘gets’ them for the seam­ers.

“We (the Lions) have gone in with an all seam at­tack at times and yes, it is a high risk strat­egy. If this was my at­tack, I’d prob­a­bly go with four quicks.”

Sri Lanka’s Dhanan­jaya de Silva said that de­spite his side hav­ing suf­fered heavy de­feats at the coast on slower sur­faces, with less bounce than the Bull­ring, they were still look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.

“We spent a lot of time in Sri Lanka pre­par­ing for fast and bouncy pitches and then in PE and Cape Town we got seam­ing wick­ets, we weren’t re­ally pre­pared for that. This will suit us bet­ter I think,” said De Silva.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.