Australia in SA

Fielding guru starts with SA

2011-10-10 16:37
Mike Young (File)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - World-renowned, converted baseball coach Mike Young began his tenure as fielding consultant to the Proteas at Newlands here on Monday.

Three days ahead of their season-opening, first Twenty20 international against Australia on Thursday, the national squad began their association with new coach Gary Kirsten and his brains trust with a “middle” session in the subsiding, but still gusting north-wester that has been rather buffeting the city since the early hours.

At a media briefing just ahead of the practice, team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that Chicago-born Young, 55, would be calling the fielding drills.

It had been revealed in June that Young, who has seen prior service with both the Australian and Indian national teams (including the latter during Kirsten’s own successful tenure there) and “mental coach” Paddy Upton would be aiding the Proteas’ cause this summer.

“Mike has joined Cricket South Africa as a consultant fielding coach to the national team and will also be involved in Corrie van Zyl’s High Performance programme, plus assisting the six franchises,” Moosajee said.

Young, who has also worked with IPL side the Deccan Chargers, employs his baseball expertise - he was once the Australian national baseball team coach - to assist leading cricketers in the areas of throwing, catching and positioning.

Asked what qualities the Proteas were seeking from Young, Moosajee told Sport24: “Gary was always given permission to bring in consultants as he sees fit, to suit our system.

“The two he quickly identified were Paddy Upton from a mental conditioning point of view and the second guy he was keen to take on was Mike ... it was just a matter of agreeing to terms and seeing if he was available.”

The lead-up to the Aussie series, which will feature activity in all three major forms of the game, has been less than ideal from a South African perspective, with a necessarily delayed reunion of the Proteas because of the Champions League distraction.

“The main thing is probably just to connect with each other again as we haven’t seen each other for a while,” senior left-arm spinner Robin Peterson said at the briefing. “We’ve got to build team spirit again over the next couple of days and make dead sure we’re ready for Thursday.

“I think it’s important we start well to get momentum going, as it is a short tour on the whole.”

Asked how he thought the Newlands pitch might play, given that this is unusually early in the Western Cape summer for a T20 international, Peterson replied: “I’ve never really played under lights this early in the season at the ground!

“It’ll be foreign territory in some ways. Generally the wicket here is pretty good; maybe it will be a bit slower than normal but it’s just about adapting on the day and a nice little challenge for the batsmen, I think.”

Wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn, set to play just his fourth T20 international, said he had learnt from Titans team-mate AB de Villiers, the new Proteas limited-overs captain who is absent through injury at present, to “grab your opportunity when it comes, (especially if it’s) against the Aussies” and said he considered Thursday “like a World Cup final” for himself.

He told Sport24 he considers Mark Boucher - expected to be fit for the subsequent ODI series - a role model behind the stumps.

“Bouchie’s obviously a good guy to look up to; it feels as if he’s played forever. His record speaks for itself and I love chatting to him. AB’s also helped me a great deal.”

Read more on:    australia in sa
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
02 September 2014
Australia v South Africa, Harare Sports Club 09:30
04 September 2014
Zimbabwe v South Africa, Harare Sports Club 09:30
21 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 00:01
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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