England in SA

Roelof to unleash 'new weapon'

2009-11-18 11:13
Roelof van der Merwe (File)
Eduan Roos

Johannesburg – The country’s in-form spinner has a new weapon at his disposal.

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England’s one-day side may encounter Roelof van der Merwe’s leg break in Friday’s first one-day international against South Africa at the Wanderers.

Van der Merwe, who has established himself as the leading spinner in the Proteas’ one-day side, is by nature an orthodox left-arm spinner, but mesmerised team-mates with his new delivery in the nets on Tuesday.

To date he has relied mostly on varying the pace of his deliveries to beat opponents, but can now bowl a delivery that spins in the opposite direction of his usual off-spinner.

The delivery is known as the 'chinaman' and turns towards right-handed batsmen.

“I have been working on the delivery for a long time and am satisfied with the way I am bowling it these days,” said Van der Merwe when asked about it by Sport24.

“I have not used it much to date and bowled it a few times for the Titans in the MTN40 series, but without success.”

Van der Merwe said that he is ready to bowl the delivery in the coming series against the English batsmen.

“I will definitely try it in the one-day games, but first only against the left-handed batsmen, and only against lower-order batsmen to begin with,” he said.

“There is always a chance that it will not leave the hand correctly and may be too full or too short, but I may be able to surprise a few English batsmen if I get it right.

“At this level you have to keep coming up with something new to have that added bowling option.”

Meanwhile, former England coach Duncan Fletcher linked up with the Proteas camp on Tuesday.

Fletcher, who led the English to an historic series victory over Australia in the Ashes in 2005, is a consultant to the South Africans.

His contribution helped the Proteas notch historic Test series wins over England and Australia last year.

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