Wanderers victory could signal the re-emergence of fast bowling

2010-01-20 00:00

AFTER a summer when the fast bowlers toiled and the batsmen made merry, the Wanderers Test match finally gave the Protea pacemen a chance to put their stamp on the series.

South Africa’s demolition job on Sunday to level the Test series was a reminder of just how important the fast bowling department is to the team. Fast bowlers have always been synonymous with South African cricket. In the past, our Test teams have been built around a core of lightning-quick pace bowlers and much of our dominance in world cricket can be attributed to their success.

The Wanderers pitch for the final Test against England was tailor-made for our exciting young attack. South African pitches have always had something in them for the fast bowlers, but over time some of the pitches have evolved into featherbeds and fast bowlers have not had it easy.

Graeme Smith admitted that even though the Newlands Test was a great contest, conditions were really tough for the fast bowlers. The pitch was slow, forcing the slips to stand close to the stumps as there was very little carry.

Traditionally it’s the bounce and pace of the wickets that most teams battle with when they tour South Africa. This is an advantage, which was exploited in the final Test match, but in my opinion we need to see more of it. I know all South African fast bowlers would agree.

Shaun Pollock believes that South Africa has learnt a vital lesson from their success in the last Test match and that is that they should always play the first Test there. Had South Africa played the first Test of the series at the Wanderers in the same way they did in the last Test, things could have been very different. England would have begun the series on the back foot instead of South Africa, who acknowledge that playing catch-up cricket is not their strong point.

Had the English batsmen failed in the first Test, their confidence would have been dented and they would have been far more tentative and circumspect in the subsequent matches. Even Graeme Swann may not have been as effective had he begun the series in Johannesburg. Instead he began his campaign at Centurion on a wicket that took plenty of turn and undoubtedly helped him secure a five-wicket haul. Swann did not look back after Centurion and went on to justifiably share the man-of-the-series award with Mark Boucher.

After a period where South Africa appeared shy in the fast bowler department, things are most definitely looking up. The emergence of Morkel and his ability to bowl in tandem with Dale Steyn is hugely encouraging.

Another asset is left–arm quick Wayne Parnell who also has the ability to swing the ball.

For the Protea pacemen, who’ll be keen to build on their success in the last Test match, the brief series in India will be an interesting challenge.

We’ve seen how the sub-continent wickets have got flatter and flatter and how they have produced enormous runs and boring Test matches as a result.

Conditions will be testing, but the fast bowlers will have the opportunity to explore reverse swing and other elements of fast bowling. It will be a learning experience for the youngsters, one that will surely stand them in good stead and hopefully continue the exciting re-emergence of fast bowling in South African cricket.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.