Australia in SA

Tsotsobe keeping it simple

2011-10-25 11:07
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Gallo)

Durban - Two century partnerships may have set the foundation for South Africa's victory, but Lonwabo Tsotsobe believes it was the disciplined bowling and basic approach which ensured an 80-run win over Australia at the weekend.

"We just try and keep it simple," said the tall left-arm seamer, who took 2/32 to help the Proteas level the series in the second one-day international (ODI) in Port Elizabeth.

"While we discuss the opposition, we don't like to focus too much, or get too carried away, about their strengths and weaknesses because then we lose focus on our own strengths.

"So I tend to concentrate more on my own strengths and if I get hit off my areas, or the batsmen make a mistake, then so be it."

Tsotsobe made the early breakthrough, dismissing Ricky Ponting (10) during his second over, and then watched in despair as his captain, Hashim Amla, let the wicket of Australia's top-scorer, David Warner (74), slip through his hands when the big hitter was on 26.

"I'm quite amazed that I've been successful in the last few games as I'm not bowling 140km per hour or anything," he said.

"But I know when to bowl my slow balls and my bouncers and I'm using my variations quite well."

Dale Steyn has topped the ICC Test rankings for some time now but the progress of Morne Morkel and Tsotsobe sees all three bowlers featuring in the current top-10 ODI rankings.

Lopsy, as he is known to his team-mates, had been a consistent performer for the Warriors franchise and he credited Russell Domingo, former Warriors coach and now assistant coach of the Proteas, for his rising stardom.

"Ever since I was in the academy, Russell has been my coach," Tsotsobe said.

"Every time I'm doing something wrong or I'm not performing, he knows what's going on.

"It helps to have someone to talk to when you have a problem and I'm more comfortable talking to someone I've known for so long."

Tsotsobe hoped, in time, to build the same relationship with both the national coach, Gary Kirsten, and bowling coach Allan Donald.

Having made his ODI debut in 2009 and his Test debut last year, Tsotsobe really came to the fore against India during their 2010/11 tour to South Africa.

He bagged the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar and counted Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni among his scalps.

In the Tests, he dismissed Tendulkar cheaply in Durban and had him dropped on 45 in the next Test before the Little Master went on to score 146 at Newlands.

Tsotsobe was instrumental in South Africa's 135-run ODI victory in Durban against India, returning figures of 4/31, and a few days later achieving his best figures to date of 4/22 at the Wanderers.

His tally of 13 wickets helped South Africa to a 3-2 series win.

"At practice, I'm putting in the work and during a match I just keep telling myself that we need to win because we don't want to let the supporters down," he said.

"I wouldn't like to be seen as a third bowler who can hold up an end.

"I want to be recognised as a person who can also get wickets but still at the same time hold up one end."

Tsotsobe said both Steyn and Morkel were always on hand to offer him encouragement and support and he enjoyed opening the bowling with Steyn in this series.

"I think it's worked out very well. Dale's played a lot of games and whenever I'm not bowling well, he'll always come up to me and tell me where I'm going wrong.

"I know I've always got him and Morne backing me.

"It's a big role that I'm playing for the team, and I just have to keep working at my game.

"I'm very competitive and don't want anyone to take my spot so I can't afford to relax as there are a lot of guys knocking for a place."

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