‘Bazooka’ is ready to fire

2009-11-19 00:00

IF the English didn’t know much about him, they will now, after Sunday’s swashbuckling 94. Andrew Strauss and company will be very grateful that Loots Bosman was only required for the Twenty20 internationals, and not the one-day international series, which starts tomorrow.

The Witness caught up with the new Dolphins recruit ahead of today’s SuperSport Series clash against the Cobras at Kingsmead.

Most local cricket fans will remember Bosman’s sickening knee-ligament injury in January. At first it looked clumsy, but replays showed the true extent of Bosman’s knee getting caught up in the turf.

Somewhere in between that day and many frustrating hours of rehabilitation, Bosman decided that his fruitful spell with the Free State Eagles had run its course.

“I needed a new challenge, basically,” the man known as Bazooka told The Witness yesterday.

“I have great memories from Bloemfontein, but I wanted a new environment. We won trophies and had a great team spirit, but I guess I was becoming lethargic.

“After speaking to a few guys, including Fordie [Dolphins coach, Graham Ford], I decided that Durban was the right move.”

Renowned for his big hitting, Bosman (32) used to throw the kitchen sink at every ball, but has displayed an encouraging dose of patience of late.

“Fordie has been working with me a lot on building an innings. That’s why I was disappointed to throw away a hundred against England.”

Bosman would have been the first South African to register a ton in T20 internationals, and only the second player after Chris Gayle.

It is a scary thought for bowlers when he describes an innings that included nine sixes as “controlled”.

“That’s what we have been working on, because I have realised that I will be a lot more valuable to the team if I can build a score instead of just blazing 30 off 10 balls,” he explains.

Bosman freely admits that the longer version of the game is not his main strength, but he is happy to fulfill whatever role Ford hands him.

“Whether I open or come in at five, I will do my best to help the team.

“For a long time, the Dolphins have played decent cricket but not got over the line in the big games.

“Now we have a good mix of youth and experience, so we have to be looking for trophies.”

Looking ahead to another tantalising prospect, Bosman said he can hardly wait for Shahid Afridi to land in these parts.

“You know, we played together when he came to Kimberley for a season. Even then he was a dangerous hitter, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together in the Pro20!”

It is indeed a terrifying prospect for opposition bowlers.

It is indicative of South African rigidness that Bosman’s antics during the T20 series (a combined 152 runs off 75 balls) could not warrant a rethink from the national selectors.

If one looks at the way Australia handled a similar situation, we can see why they are still streets ahead of us when it comes to the crunch.

When David Warner came out of nowhere to blitz the Proteas all over the MCG in a T20 match last year, the Aussie brainstrust didn’t miss a beat. Though Warner was not part of the initial ODI squad, they made room for him based on form and potential.

Would it have hurt the Proteas to pencil in Lungile Loots Bosman to their playing squad, even as an alternative?

Of course not, but the fact that it was not even considered points to South Africa’s inability to seize the moment.

Teams:

Dolphins: Imraan Khan (captain), Loots Bosman, Cameron Delport, Ahmed Amla, Jon Kent, David Miller, Pierre de Bruyn, Andrew Hall, Daryn Smit, Johann Louw, Yusuf Abdulla, Matthew Hulett

Cobras: Andrew Puttick, Alistair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, Justin Ontong, Richard Levi, Justin Kemp (capt), Robin Petersen, Ryan Canning (wk), Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Monde Zondeki, Francois Plaatjies.

 

 

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