Donald: SA attack best ever

2012-10-30 07:44

Sydney - South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald on Tuesday called his country's current pace attack the best he has seen, as they fine-tune ahead of a three Test series against Australia.

Donald in his prime was one of the best fast bowlers ever seen in Test cricket, ripping through opposition batsmen with partner Shaun Pollock, but even he admitted the current crop was a league above.

"I would have to say that, yes," Donald told reporters.

"I'm not just saying that, because I was part of an attack with Shaun Pollock and myself and a few others, and I say that humbly and respectfully, I think this is as good as it gets."

South Africa jetted into Australia Sunday aiming to consolidate their position as the number one Test team, which they earned in August with a series triumph in England.

Much pre-series media attention has centred on the quality of the South African pace attack, led by Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, and how Australia's top order will deal with them.

Donald, who terrorised opposition batsmen in the 1990s, said the South African bowlers' greatest asset was their ability to work as a group.

"They've been bowling together for quite some time," he said.

"Momentum's been built over the past couple of years, consistency in selection and it's nice to have a group of guys that know what they're about."

Australian coach Mickey Arthur, himself a South African, acknowledged earlier this month that his top order batsmen face a "baptism of fire".

"It's going to be about the batters," Arthur said of the series.

"It is going to be about which top six can adapt better, which top six is going to be more consistent over the three Test series. I think both top sixes are in for a real baptism of fire."

Australia head to the first Test in Brisbane next week with Ed Cowan opening the innings alongside big-hitting David Warner.

They will be followed to the crease by Shane Watson and then 165-Test veteran Ricky Ponting, who is in fine touch, scoring 350 runs at an average of 125.00 in his last three first-class games.

Skipper Michael Clarke is expected to bat five and Mike Hussey six.

After a three-day warm-up against Australia A in Sydney from November 2, the Brisbane Test begins on November 9, the second at the Adelaide Oval on November 22 and the last on November 30 at the Waca in Perth.


  • keba.mothoagae - 2012-10-30 08:11

    A deep batting line-up against a voracious bowling attack with wickets coming from everywhere. Doesn't it make you swell with pride knowing that every anticipated series nowadays involves the Proteas? That is Test cricket.

      jan.sadie.7 - 2012-10-30 08:16

      Could not have said it better!

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-30 12:57

      Agreed, well said.

      Jacques - 2012-10-30 13:06

      OI!! Give that man a Bells!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-30 08:13

    Fantastic compliment coming from AD and im sure the bowlers are relishing the challenge down under. I can't help thinking we still don't have the world class spinner we looking for to add to that formidable test attack.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-30 08:37

      Don’t think it will be a huge problem, as the aussies also have a great seam line-up, BUT! The problem with Imran is the way we use him, he will never be a 'hold up an end' bowler, he is an attacking bowler and needs the freedom to do what he likes, then only will Imran be a world class spinner. Maybe use JP in that role, like Harris use to do. SA never really had an attacking spinner in recent years; maybe the experience Gazza got in India will help correct that!!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-30 08:38

      Sorry, meant to say, the aussies also have a great seam line-up, and would probably prepare pitches accordingly!

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-30 09:19

      Good point Jaco. Tahir does get tonked a bit with some loose deliveries but can't really change his attacking style or he'll be of no use. Certainly hope our batsmen are all up for the challenge as well.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 09:38

      Tahir, is useless, period!

  • Jacques - 2012-10-30 08:13

    I get the sense that their top6 only starts at 3, with Cowan a relatively inexperienced player and Warner a devastating batsman, for sure, but one of those 'always get a feeling you have a chance' type players. Would I back our side to match 80/2 on a regular basis? I'd say so. Proteas for life!

  • jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 08:13

    little worried about Morne Morkel

      neil.thomas.319452 - 2012-10-30 08:24

      So's Australia...

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-30 08:40

      Problem with MM, is, when he is good, he is fantastic, when he is bad, he is dreadful, lets hope this series he will be the former!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-30 08:45

      Problem with MM, is, when he is good, he is fantastic, when he is bad, he is dreadful, let’s hope this series he will be the former!

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 09:01

      Morkel is fat and overrated, so is Biff and Amla!

      Jeremy - 2012-10-30 09:24

      jasper, you're an idiot! Amla and Smith are ranked 2nd and 7th batsmen respectively in the world, while Morkel is ranked 9th among the bowlers.

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-10-30 09:37

      Jasper is clueless and butt ugly!

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 09:37

      Still fat!!!!

      Sonnyjakes - 2012-10-30 10:31

      Your nickname clueless?

      Warnell Mathys - 2012-10-30 18:55

      whats there to worry about. he had an ave series against england. so he is due a good one. come on those other two oaks you cant worry about the. their record speaks for themselves

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-30 08:21

    Go Proteas make us proud and wipe that smirk off their faces.

  • neil.thomas.319452 - 2012-10-30 08:25

    Whoooo. Cant wait for this to start...

  • Jeremy - 2012-10-30 08:39

    I think AD's right - at least insofar as our test team is concerned. But the Protea's are average in one-day cricket - and pretty hopeless at T20's. I believe AD and Gary Kirsten are the perfect test coaching combination, but their natural caution and meticulousness don't work so well in the shorter game, where we need more variety from the bowlers and more aggression from the batters! Oh for a Chris Gayle to open the batting for the Proteas in the 50/20 over matches........

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 08:47

      And that’s why India won the World Cup (ODI) under Gary????

      Warnell Mathys - 2012-10-30 18:52

      come on guy. gary won the world cup with india.

      CapeChappy - 2012-10-31 11:45

      Jeremy - SA is tied on 121 points in ODI's with #1 ranked England.... .. and before the recent series with England were also #1 ranked in T20's....oh ja that's pretty average and hopeless.....

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-30 08:50

    Donald and Fanie was also a mean combination. The youngsters will probably not remember / know about the Sydney test in ? 1994.

      adriaan.dutoit.3 - 2012-10-30 09:17

      I found a video of that last day's highlights on Youtube the other day. Go search for it. Well worth watching :) One of my favourite days of cricket ever.

  • Spha - 2012-10-30 09:32

    if u dnt believe it then ask d pomps!!

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 11:15

      What are you on about!!!

  • andre.ernstzen - 2012-10-30 12:40

    I hope Rory Kleinveld gets a look in sooner rather than later.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-30 16:19

      Yes in place of useless fat Vernon!!!

  • boereroo.jackman - 2012-10-31 03:21

    I agree that SA has a good attack but there is no backup for that attack. No one can just walk into the side to replace any of them if needed whilst Aus have at least 8 bowlers that can play test cricket.

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