Don­ald won’t duck his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

El­gar hits dou­ble ton as SA A build good lead

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - LUNGANI ZAMA In Kandy

“WE ARE at base camp right now, and we need to re-pack our bags, and start mov­ing again.”

Al­lan Don­ald gets very an­i­mated when the topic of dis­cus­sion turns to fast bowl­ing and, more to the point, the chal­lenges that are con­stantly thrown in front of mod­ern leather-flingers.

The Proteas bowl­ing coach has been there and done that, but even he is happy to be on the side­lines nowa­days.

“Bat­ting has moved on, es­pe­cially in the past few years. In my day, you had the time to ease into a spell, and bat­ters were look­ing to go along at three or four an over – now and then maybe have a hit at the end.

“Those days are gone now,” he says, starkly.

“If you are not on the money right away, th­ese boys will cut you to pieces. Guys like AB ( de Vil­liers) and (Til­lakaratne) Dil­shan will lap you, even at 140km an hour, if you get your lines wrong. And they will lap you both sides of the wicket, too!”

Don­ald says he is well aware the re­sults of the cur­rent tour have not been pretty, but he says there is a method to the sup­posed mad­ness of go­ing into a hoodoo des­ti­na­tion with­out your big­gest as­sets.

“It’s fan­tas­tic. I think it is a great idea. We are fast-track­ing th­ese guys. They are learn­ing, against pretty tough op­po­si­tion, and are do­ing it with­out the top bowler in the world.”

Don­ald says that the squad may well reap the re­wards down the line.

“Of course we want to win, but this is also a learn­ing curve for th­ese young­sters.”

Don­ald says in two years, South Africa’s at­tack will be all the bet­ter for the hard knocks they are tak­ing right now.

“We sim­ply can­not af­ford to be one-di­men­sional any­more. And by that, I don’t just mean bowl­ing pace. If you are swing­ing the ball, but only in one di­rec­tion, that also be­comes pre­dictable, and the best play­ers will work you out and take you apart.”

Don­ald ad­mits the Proteas have a weak­ness at one of the most cru­cial points of the one­day game; bowl­ing at the death.

“Absolutely. We have to learn how to close games out. It is an area that we are look­ing to ad­dress, but that is where cer­tain skills have to come in,” he points out, warm­ing to his task.

“Re­verse swing is what the game re­quires now. Jimmy An­der­son is prob­a­bly the most skil­ful ex­po­nent of it at the mo­ment, and there is noth­ing more ex­cit­ing than to see a bats­man who doesn’t know which way the ball is go­ing to next,” he chuck­les.

“In my day, I played against two of the very best at it. Waqar You­nis and Wasim Akram did amaz­ing things with the ball, and bat­ters didn’t have a chance.”

The ques­tion, of course, is where are the South African swing mer­chants?

“There are guys who have shown prom­ise. Some of them are out­side this group that is here right now, young­sters like Marchant de Lange and Har­dus Viljoen. They have shown that they can de­liver at do­mes­tic level,” he en­thuses.

“The trick for guys like that, and I keep telling them that, is to do it con­sis­tently. Don’t be a flash in the pan, and then dis­ap­pear when ev­ery­one is watch­ing. You need to de­liver, con­sis­tently, and then you will get the re­wards.”

Don­ald says the rapid rise of Viljoen ex­cites him, even if the Lions tor­men­tor is still raw and untested at a higher level.

“He is a big, strong lad, who bowls a heavy ball. I like that he is at you all the time, and his time will come,” Don­ald states.

“The key now, look­ing to the World Cup in 2015, is to be absolutely clear in our think­ing. When we get into those games, we need to have at least two guys who know ex­actly A STUN­NING dou­ble cen­tury by Dean El­gar en­sured the South African A side passed Aus­tralia A’s de­clared first in­nings score to take the lead by 140 runs with three wick­ets re­main­ing on Day 3 of the match at the LC de Vil­liers Oval in Pre­to­ria.

El­gar racked up 268 runs off 438 balls and the left-handed bats­man’s in­nings even­tu­ally came to an end when he was stumped by wick­et­keeper Tim Paine off the bowl­ing of Glen Maxwell.

El­gar was well sup­ported by for­mer Co­bras player Thami Tsolek­ile, who notched 159. He was dis­missed by a catch by Aussie first in­nings hero David Warner off the bowl­ing of Fawad Ahmed.

The pick of the vis­i­tors bowl­ing at­tack was Ahmed who took 3-177 in 42 overs.

Yes­ter­day, El­gar and his skip­per, Justin On­tong shared a cru­cial 103-run fourth-wicket part­ner­ship to steer the hosts back on course be­fore On­tong had his stumps dis­turbed by Moises Hen­riques on 60 off 87 balls.

At the close of play, Si­mon Harmer (29) and Kyle Ab­bott (6) were at the crease to take SA A to 614/7.

Gallo Im­ages

BOWL­ING MAE­STRO’S: Bowl­ing coach Al­lan Don­ald shares some pearls of wis­dom to the world’s num­ber one bowler Dale Steyn dur­ing a Proteas train­ing ses­sion in New­lands ear­lier this year.

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