Roelof to unleash 'new weapon'

2009-11-18 11:13

Eduan Roos

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

Win: Proteas vs England ODI tickets

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.


  • Jan - 2009-11-18 11:35

    It seems that the Proteas always win the game in the press and then walk onto the field where the opposition is not playing with pen, paper and camera's. Get the players away from the press and do the talking with bat and ball. Stop talking and start playing!

  • The Oracle - 2009-11-18 11:36

    I do wish we can back this talk with good performances.

  • Mandlendoda - 2009-11-18 11:36

    Whatever man,just play the frikkin game!! Just hope even those tail-enders don't surprise you by dispatching you for six my china-man!!

  • wj - 2009-11-18 11:44

    100% right Dave, between him and AB, if they were half as good as they told everyone they are, they would have been world beaters. Currently they are only slightly above average first class cricketers

  • Obvious - 2009-11-18 11:48

    Rubbish dave. I can imagine you're only seeing Paul Adams before you. Why don't you wait & see before spewing all over these forums? Ps. He bowled +-120km/h after school, so he does have an armball. Bet you couldn't spot it :o

  • Sme - 2009-11-18 12:02

    Dave are you sure that it yours?

  • Proteas Fan - 2009-11-18 12:03

    You obviously don't know what it takes to be an international cricket player and stay on top of your game! Why don't you do your job as a South African cricket fan and support your team unconditionally!

  • CJ - 2009-11-18 12:08

    Yeah, deadright Obvious.At what position do you bat for the Chockers ??

  • In 'awe' - 2009-11-18 12:13

    I Love how you all bash our cricket players, but mot of you have probably never played proper club cricket, never mind andything else. i also love the cynicism with which South Africans 'support' their players - they are only good enough when then win and lose once / twice they suddnly become the enemy? I love you 'proudly South Africans'...if your bored, go bash a fence...

  • John - 2009-11-18 12:19

    What an idiot. He should have kept it a secret and unleased it when playing against England. He must be the Andre Nel version of spin bowling all talk , funny face and no action with the ball. He always has a constipated look on his face???

  • Peter Pan - 2009-11-18 12:24

    I'm sure after this article the English won't see the "Chinaman" coming at all. It will be a total suprise to them to see a different ball from Roelof! This is almost like telling the enemy when and where and how and with what you are gonna kill them. It always works!

  • duhduhDAVE - 2009-11-18 12:25

    you're one of those chops who secretly delights in south africa losing dontcha? a fairweather fan....classic armchair specialist. shut up and get a decent vettori doesn't get his fair share of tap - as a veteran.

  • Choker - 2009-11-18 12:31

    I hope he opens his eyes when he bowls it! hahahahahaha!

  • Bulldog fan - 2009-11-18 12:38

    What is your problem? A spinner who didn't make it?

  • Kylee - 2009-11-18 12:41

    WJ how can you say AB is a slightly above average first class cricketer... Last season AB scored 1986 runs at an average of 58, a year where we played the likes of england, india and australia on there home soil, he scored at least one century in each of these tours at test level! not bad for an above average first class cricketer don't you think

  • FOTA - 2009-11-18 12:47

    Ag shame, Dave Hiscock and wj. Not content with looking like t**** in your local pub you are now happy with looking stupid in public. AB, average first class cricketer. AB - test average of 43.92, highest test score of 217, ranked 5 in the world in ODI's, 13th in tests. Quite right, average. Why don't you two clowns do some research before you advertise your low IQ.

  • Peter - 2009-11-18 12:56

    Just to mentioned I really enjoyed your "quality spin bowling" against the Pakis in the T20 semi final when you guys choked. At least you learning to throw more lolly pops in your collection. John is right you always have that stupid look on your face when you bowling much like Andre Nel?? Now that Gibbs is gone I see that you want to be the idiot cricketer of year by telling the opposition of your "new weapon" before the series begins. You must have a really low IQ

  • Gerald - 2009-11-18 13:05

    Have you guys realised that he might have wanted to keep it secret but he was asked the question in an open interview? I.e. the English press knew about the new ball without him telling anyone? What is the point in denying it as the English will already be aware of it. I hate this assumption that when the media prints it then it is made out like the player sought out the limelight to make a statement - usually it is just him trying to answer a question he would rather not have dealt with in the first place.

  • Brandon - 2009-11-18 13:14

    Please for heaven's sake. Just stop talking and simply go and play the game. PLEASE.

  • Neil - 2009-11-18 13:21

    For an orthdox spinner like Roelof to bowl a leg-break or chinamin delivery requires a significant change in the wrist position during release and will be too obvious to trouble any first-class cricketer, even a tailender! See these links for further explanation: Orthodox spin ( vs Unorthodox spin (

  • Anon - 2009-11-18 13:21

    Chinaman? According to my knowledge, the Chinaman is the left arm version of the googly. Therefore the Chinaman would be the turning away from the righthands batsmen, while the left arm wrist spinner normal dilevery would turn into a righthanded batsmen. Therefore since Roelof is a left ortodox spinner (turning the ball away from the righthanded batsmen), would mean that the ball turning into the righthanded batsmen would rather be similar to the dullstra (which is bowled by a right arm orthodox spinner) and cannot be called a Chinaman

  • FOTA - 2009-11-18 13:45

    @Anon - not so. The orthodox left armer turns the ball away from the right-hander. A ''chinaman'' is a ball bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman that spins from off to leg. You are talking more about the doosra. @ Neil - Muri turns his wrist through 180 degrees for his doosra and the top batsmen seldom spot it. It is much easier to spot on the slowmo than in real life.

  • TB - 2009-11-18 13:48

    I have to agree with Brandon & Jan: Refrain from washing out the mouth. Rather shut your trap and just deliver the goods.

  • Dave Hiscock - 2009-11-18 14:12

    @FOTA, you really are clueless when it comes to cricket, aren't you. Anon is 100% correct, the chinaman is the left-handed version of the googly. Down the years many a left hander tried to perfect the art, but few succeeded, instead bowling normal "left-handed leg breaks". As a result of this, most people just called it the chinaman delivery, which is wrong! The last guy to genuinely perfect the chinaman, was Australia's Brad Hogg (ever heard of him?). Simon Katich can bowl the occassional chinaman, but it is usually dross! For Roelof to try and bowl chinamans, he would have to first learn to bowl wrist-spin, which is highly unlikely! I think the delivery that this article is trying to refer to is the left-handed version of the doosra, namely the dullstra!

  • zolani - 2009-11-18 14:49

    Im surprised how many people critisize our team and players who have over a 90% success rate this year. when I looked that is a A+ in anyones books

  • FOTA - 2009-11-18 14:55

    @Dave - the left arm orthodox bowler's Chinaman to a right handed batsman is basically turning in towards the batsmans legs - yes?. The right handed bowlers Googly turns away from the right handed batsman. Unless I have lost my bearings completely. Not completely clueless but open to correction, just not from people who believe it is clever to get personal on the internet. Roelof running in looking "constipated" is the kind of potty talk a 10 year old would use. It is amusing only in the Spur.

  • Cammie - 2009-11-18 15:06

    Well said Zolani, well said!

  • FOTA - 2009-11-18 15:08

    @Dave - and no, never heard of the Dullstra, can't even find references to it on the web.

  • McMan - 2009-11-18 15:34

    To all you people complaining about the player, who do you suggest takes his place if he is not worthy? Would you care to mention the name of a left arm spinner that is still young enough to develop and shows the ability and desire to improve? If not, encourage the player(s) that are representing our country. If you believe you have the right to judge and criticize someone that is making a living of their passion then why aren't you the one on the field? All sportsmen and sportswomen make mistakes, the reason we sit on a couch and watch these guys represent us is because they have earned it by making less mistakes than us! So for the sake of sport in this country, PAY OUR SPORTSMEN AND SPORTSWOMEN SOME WELL DESERVED RESPECT!

  • Dave Hiscock - 2009-11-18 15:42

    @FOTA... You are completely sitting the pot miss here, buddy! ORTHODOX (or finger) spin bowlers, be it left or right handed, CAN NOT bowl deliveries like googlies and chinamans. Those terms are reserved for deliveries bowled by UNORTHODOX (or wrist) spin bowlers, e.g. Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Hogg, etc etc. Get it? Irrespective of which way the ball turns! For example, a normal OFF-Spinner's (e.g. Johan Botha) stock ball turns from the right-handers off to leg stump, right? By your logic, that ball should be called a googly, because it spins in that direction! Need I point it out to you that it is wrong? An off spinner's delivery that spins from leg to off is called a doosra! Get it? Now apply exactly the same logic to a normal left-handed spin bowler (e.g. Roelof) and you'll get to the delivery called the dullstra. Only if Roelof bowled with the same action as, e.g. Warne, can one apply the term chinaman! The reason you can't find the word dullstra on the net is because no one in international cricket bowls it! So goodluck Roelof! I'm really trying my best to explain it in as Lehman a term as possible, here buddy! As for the "constipated" remark, who said that? I didn't say anything nasty about Roelof, go read my post again!

  • Marius - 2009-11-18 15:51

    "I am a South african cricketer, I totally suck. I can not bat or bowl. We have absolutely no chance of winning any series ever" - Dave and friends would this be better? Seriously guys do you go to work everyday with no confidence and no hope of achieving anything? Then don't expect it from these guys. Go Roelof and the Proteas! All true SA cricket fans support you!

  • Syd - 2009-11-18 16:06

    Interesting comments I must say. Having been away for a while, I come back and people are still attacking each other on the net. Maybe things will never change. I am really excited to see v/d Merwe bowl this delivery. I for one still cannot figure out how he has managed to bowl it but maybe Friday will reveal more. If he has really come up with something like that, big ups to him and I hope the Proteas teach the Poms a lesson. The only problem I have with our national side, is that they do not consistently apply the likker instinct and AB should take the gloves and that debate closed in ODIs

  • king of spin - 2009-11-18 16:08

    Roelf is not n real spin bowler.He cant even make the titans 4 day team.So that means he is a bits and pieces cricketer.I don think there is something wrong with the Titans selectors or coach.Thats the problem with Proteas to many bits and pieces players.They must pick specialist and Roelf is no specialist.

  • guy - 2009-11-18 16:21

    let me put you lot out of your misery. a right arm wrist spinner's stock delivery turns from a righthand batsman's legside to his offside. it is called a legbreak. a right arm wrist spinner's googly turns from a righthand batsman's off to his legside. a left arm wrist spinner's stock delivery turns from a righthand batsman's off to his legside. it is in effect the same as a right arm wrist spinner's googly. it is this delivery that is called the chinaman, after the chinaman who is credited with first bowling it -

  • FOTA - 2009-11-18 16:51

    @Dave - cool, perhaps I am being too simplistic about it. To me it did not make any difference whether the oke was a finger or a wrist spinner, orthodox was a leftie spinning it away from the right hander, unorthodox is spinning it into the right hander, the other way around for the right handed bowler. I play with okes are finger spinners, normally turn it into my legs, every now and again straighten it up and even turn it away, but they have to run the wrist through 180 degrees so the back of the hand faces the batsman. Sounds easy to spot, but the back of the hand can either go straight through, or turn away. I am not good enough to pick it, causes me endless trouble. I hope Roelof can do the same thing. I like the oke, he is a street fighter, like Andrew Hall, Macka and even Pat Symcox and can be relied on to go the distance. And ig he middles it he can bat in the middle of the tail. Cannot see him in my test side, ever. Have a good one - thanks for the civil chat.

  • Mark - 2009-11-18 17:33

    Seems to me there are too many "ex spurts" spinning out of control with ridiculous comments and accusations ! Jeez give the guy a break - let him first bowl a few overs and see how he performs with his "new secret weapon" before crucifying him ! F*&&^% it - at least he is prepared to try something new.When last did any of you critics try anything new - except a new brand of chips while sitting on your fat duffs behind a computer hurling abuse !!

  • cammie - 2009-11-19 06:38

    There were a lot more arrogant mails from 'Dave' with responses from myself and others to him, which appear to have been removed from this site - posted yesterday afternoon (18th November). Where have they gone? Bemused????

  • TracerZA - 2009-11-19 06:51

    clearly most of the posters on this forum hate the proteas!!! why do you bother reading any proteas news you negative w@nkers. and how come none of you geniuses and experts are good enough to play there yourselves? get a life FFS, actually no, GET A CLUE!!!!! Go proteas, stuff those poms, and good luck Roelof, demolish them!!!!

  • sc1pio - 2009-11-19 07:16

    What an idiot, trying to talk the English into defeat. First see if it works then brag about it you silly cricket player

  • TracerZA - 2009-11-19 08:49

    @sc1pio He's not bragging about it you illiterate fool.... learn to read before making ridiculous comments. I'm assuming that all the negative comments come from people living in Aus/Kiwi/UK..... cos I can't for a second believe that true patriots would post the drivel that I've read this morning. If not, PLEASE LEAVE. This is not where you belong.

  • cammie - 2009-11-19 11:27

    @ Dave Hiscock - you wouldn't perhaps be able to or have the influence to have posts removed from this site would you? Where are the civil responses myself and others made on this site yesterday to your offensive comments? Secondly, kindly refrain from making assumptions about others who contribute to this site. Illiterate individuals, as you so call myself, Pat S, et al, do not have to resort to the uncalled for and offensive comments you have posted here

  • gert - 2009-11-19 12:52

    @TracerZA I agree 100% with you. SA is not a perfect country but as a country we have come a long way & there is so much to be proudly South African about. One need not be patriotic based on the performance of a sports team. Yes we don't have the cricket talent that the Asian Countries have & the mental strength of the Aussies but we have our rich history & our beautiful supporters that will always go out and support their coutry men on the sporting field despite the off the field politics.

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