Zimbabwe in SA
Pollock back to help Proteas
Johann de Jager
Shaun Pollock (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Shaun Pollock will assist the Proteas as a bowling consultant ahead of their one-day series against Zimbabwe next week, confirming to Sport24 on Tuesday that he would be in Bloemfontein for two days.
The names of two other former Proteas – Lance Klusener and Alan Dawson – have also been mentioned as possible consultants for the training camp.
Pollock (37) played his last one-day game for South Africa in February 2008. He was considered the best bowler in the world in one-day cricket a few years ago.
The knowledge and experience that he gained in his 303 ODI's will be worth a huge amount to a team that will head to the sub-continent next year hoping to win the World Cup for the first time.
Jacques Kallis will improve on Pollock’s record number ODI's for South Africa next Friday evening.
However, before the series of three matches against Zimbabwe starts, the Proteas will play the touring side in two T20 games in Bloemfontein and Kimberley on Friday and Sunday respectively.
The Proteas get together in Bloemfontein for the two T20 games on Wednesday.
“Zimbabwe will win at least one of those games,” Hamilton Masakadza warned the Proteas at the touring side’s first training session on Wednesday.
Friday’s first Twenty20 game is the first between the countries on the same field where Zimbabwe played their first Test in South Africa against the Proteas in October 1999.
Zimbabwe have won only three of their 12 Twenty20 games, which included surprise wins over Australia and the West Indies.
Masakadza, who has scored the most runs, highest score and taken the most catches for his country, is convinced they can achieve a similar feat in South Africa.
“The shorter version of the game closes the gaps between a lot of the teams. The weaker team, if one can put it like that, has a better winning chance. Anything can happen and you need only one good performance from someone to take the game,” he said.
Masakadza agrees that their exciting local T20 series, which draws good crowds, has done a lot for the team.
“Our internal competition has improved a lot through that and the standards are also much higher as a result.”
Masakadza added that he had struggled in the recent one-day series against Ireland, but prior to that made some runs with the Mutare Mountaineers, who are coached by Allan Donald.
He has known Donald since his student days at the University of the Free State, where he studied for a degree in marketing.
Having spent four years at Kovsies, Masakadza left his team-mates in no doubt that Bloemfontein is his home town.