Shaun Pollock chats to Sport24

Cape Town - Former Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock answers YOUR questions. He discusses if he’ll ever get back into the game, his admiration for Graeme Smith and whether or not he rates Vernon Philander.

Kamreshan Villez Moonsamy asked: Have you ever considered getting back into the game in any capacity?

Shaun Pollock: I did a few years of coaching with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. However, at this stage, if asked to return to coaching I would probably say no. Post-cricket retirement is treating me well. I have most enjoyed returning to normality as far as family life goes and being home-bound. My kids are now 10 and seven, so it’s an important stage in their lives, which I’m glad to be a part of.

Jacob Small asked: Other than your in-studio analysis and match commentary for SuperSport, what other projects take up your time?

Shaun Pollock: Aside from a few business ventures, I do motivational speaking and have become involved in charity work. One of my projects is LIV Village, an orphanage in Durban. I have also teamed up with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Last but certainly not least, I’m proud to be associated with Wildlands, to assist in the conservation of the rhino and other endangered species.

James Petitt asked: The Proteas need new blood. It seems that some of the players have been there for ages when there are better players in our domestic league. Your take?

Shaun Pollock: I agree that there a number of strong performers domestically, but I would stress that it’s a big step up from provincial to international cricket. It’s good that players are always knocking and that there is depth in South African cricket, but selectors being ‘over-loyal’ to players will always come into question when the side is not performing to its usual high standards. Just because one’s tried-and-tested are experiencing a lean spell doesn’t mean they need to be axed.

Allister Paul Coakley asked: Why do think the ODI team is struggling the way that they are at the moment and the test team is unbeatable?

Shaun Pollock: One of the biggest factors when it comes to playing on the international arena is confidence. In the ODI format, I believe the top five in our batting order has been unsettled owing to indifferent form and injuries. In turn, the Proteas have prospered at Test level owing to a more settled combinations and the fact that roles are more clearly defined. While the game’s shorter formats have proved a point of frustration, I don’t believe we should read too much into the losses we have incurred. Most of them have come on sub-continental wickets. We must keep in mind that the 2015 Cricket World Cup will be played in Australasia, which will play to South Africa’s strengths.

Franklin Johannes asked: What more must Vernon Philander do to get a run in the ODI team?

Shaun Pollock: While I would certainly give Vernon another go, I believe his game is best-suited to South African and Australian wickets. In those conditions, the ball nips around more and he can use that zip, particularly in his first spell, to his advantage more than he could on the sub-continent. When the team returns to South Africa, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the ODI side. He now just has to transfer the confidence his Test performances have instilled to the 50-over game.

Jacques Q Robertson asked: You were regarded as one of the best all-rounders of your generation. Which current all-rounder is setting the standard?

Shaun Pollock: The game has changed so much that everyone is now part and parcel of playing their role. Australia’s Shane Watson is a fine all-rounder in the ODI arena and there is no doubt in my mind that Jacques Kallis is still up there as one of the greats. I believe that as a player develops over their career, the more they’re able to fulfil the role of an all-rounder. For example, when I first debuted for my country, my bowling was my point of focus in order to cement my place in the side. However, as I became a more regular fixture, I was able to develop my batting discipline.

Ahmed Sayeed Mahomed asked: Who was the most difficult batsman to bowl to in the nets and out on the field?

Shaun Pollock: Every batsman is tough to bowl to in the nets as numbers one to 11 can be world beaters! In a match situation, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting naturally top the list. While it’s near impossible to say who’s the greatest ever batsman, Sachin has performed extremely well over an extended period of time. Having had the opportunity to work with him in the IPL, I now respect him even more for the way he conducted himself under pressure.

Phil Van Staden asked: Shane Warne dropped a clanger by saying that Michael Clarke is the best captain at the moment. Who do you rate as the best captain and why?

Shaun Pollock:
(Laughs) Shane can say that, but unless you’ve worked under a captain first-hand and have experienced how he goes about his business, it’s very difficult to judge. We also need to bear in mind that some captains, for example, have good bowling attacks to work with and others don’t. From a local perspective, I’ve been impressed how Graeme Smith has grown into the role. In the Test arena, his mature approach to the game has rubbed off on his team-mates.


Jonathan Kaplan

James Small

Pat Symcox

Joe van Niekerk

Nick Mallett

Heyneke Meyer

Tiaan Strauss

John Mitchell

David Campese

Dean Furman

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