Australia in SA

Donald expects aggression

2011-11-15 22:34
Allan Donald (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Proteas bowling coach Allan Donald expect his bowlers to be aggressive on a "less friendly" pitch at the Wanderers against Australia. 

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After an extraordinary Test at Newlands last week, where South Africa came from behind to thrash Australia by eight wickets, Donald said conditions at the Wanderers would be different and his bowlers would need to adapt accordingly.

"We won’t see another pitch as friendly as the one at Newlands," he said.

"At the Wanderers, you have to be spot-on as there’s a bit of bounce and carry, and if you’re loose, the batsmen can score freely, square off either side of the wicket.

"We need to be aggressive in our lengths and hit our areas hard. The bowlers did that particularly well in the second innings at Newlands but, of course, we will need to make adjustments here."

South Africa last won a Test series against Australia on home soil in 1970 and Donald said it would be a great achievement to do so again.

"It’s great to be in a position where we have that winning momentum, there’s nothing better than that.

"To be at the forefront of beating Australia on South African soil would be the pinnacle - we’re one Test match away from something very special."

Donald said the hosts were expecting the Australians to come back hard at them and not capitulate in the manner in which they folded in Cape Town, when they were bowled out for a paltry 47 runs in their second innings - their lowest total since 1902.

"We did a good job in Cape Town but we expect Australia to bounce back heavily as they’re a good side.

"We’re going to focus on what we have to do to win the Test series - that is our main focus for now."

Donald was delighted to see Dale Steyn back in top form during the first Test, after a disappointing one-day series against the visitors.

"It happens to every bowler where they’re not quite balanced and lose their shape for a while and it affects your confidence.

"Everyone goes through a bad patch but Dale ran in with massive intent last week and that’s when I knew he’s was back on his game.

"Great bowlers and great cricketers always find a way to come back and make things happen."

Known as "White Lightning" at the peak of his career, Donald was reluctant to comment on Australia’s fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, who has not been as effective as he was the last time he toured South Africa.

The aggressive left-arm seamer took four for 25 in the first innings, and eight wickets in the match, in a Test at the Wanderers in February 2009.

"I don’t know Mitchell very well or what his check points are - but he is a bit slingy at the moment.

"It’s never nice when one of your key men is a bit off, but he’ll find a way of getting back. He’s not in the team just to make up numbers, he’s a class act."

The Proteas will be putting last week’s victory behind them and concentrating on achieving only their second Test series-win against the Australia (the first was in 2008 in Australia), since readmission, but it will never be far from their minds.

"These guys went out there and did something special which people can only dream about. It was a freakish day and it’s not sunk in yet," admitted Donald.

"Maybe in a few months, or even a couple of years from now, that day will sink in but it’s great to be involved and we can keep building on these positive things every day."

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