New Delhi, Jan 1 (Ajit Weekly News) Former Australia captain Ian Chappell feels that South Africa’s bowling attack can get better results in Test cricket if the leadership of the team can be improved.
At the Boxing Day Test in the MCG, South Africa were thrashed by an innings and 182 runs by a rampant Australian team, making it the first time since 2005/06 that the Proteas didn’t win a Test series in the country.
It is also South Africa’s second successive Test series loss after 1-2 defeat to England in August-September. They will now play for pride in the third and final Test at Sydney starting from January 4.
“While South Africa’s bowling attack possesses real ability, their wicket-taking capability could be drastically improved. And they are handicapped by their side’s poor batting. A team that is repeatedly provided with low scores and has to regularly be back bowling after yet another failure by their batting side finds its strength sapping and morale dropping.”
“There is also the matter of captaincy. Anrich Nortje aside, the rest of the attack could have performed better in Australia with improved leadership. Elgar, like many of his fellow international leaders, is not well versed in captaincy on Australian pitches.”
“The bowlers must first understand that producing the odd really good ball interspersed with some deliveries that can be dispatched won’t win much in Australia. Bowlers have to keep producing good deliveries to talented batters and their demeanour has to alert opponents to their wicket-taking desire,” wrote Chappell in his column for ESPNCricinfo on Sunday.
Though Kagiso Rabada has taken ten wickets, Anrich Nortje has been the most impressive South Africa pacer, troubling the Australian batters with his quick pace while taking five wickets in the process. Chappell remarked Nortje is a better bet than Lungi Ngidi to be opening the bowling with Rabada and picking wickets with the new ball.
“On the subject of starting, why isn’t Nortje taking the new ball along with Kagiso Rabada? The best chance of taking wickets is at the start of a player’s innings. The most likely wicket-takers, if they are good, are the faster bowlers and it’s imperative they get the new ball. Nortje is a far better bowling proposition than an out-of-form and much slower Lungi Ngidi.”
“Keshav Maharaj has potential as a spinner but if he’s used as a containing bowler, that’s a mistake. Most of the time a captain has to seek wickets at both ends. Bowlers are wicket-takers; otherwise they shouldn’t be in a Test side. Having a player operate as a holding bowler means his ability is diminished.”
Chappell signed off by saying with South Africa’s batting fragile, the bowlers will have to step up in Sydney. “Taking 20 wickets to win a Test is the hardest thing in the game but it’s also among the most rewarding. The job of batters is to score runs quickly enough to allow their bowlers the time to collect those 20 wickets.”
“The South African batters aren’t anywhere near doing their job. However, the better South African bowlers could improve their performance if they were provided with more inspiring leadership and competitive field placings.”
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S