Proteas

World Cup place for Rusty?

2010-10-18 22:29
Rusty Theron (Gallo Images)
Eduan Roos

Johannesburg – Just under a year ago Rusty Theron was not part of the national cricket selectors’ plans for next year’s World Cup, but after his five-wicket haul in the second one-day match against Zimbabwe there may have to be a rethink by Andrew Hudson and Co.

The Proteas clinched the series with Sunday’s eight-wicket win after Theron almost single-handedly derailed the Zimbabwean innings with bowling figures of 5/44.

The 25-year-old red-head’s bowling in the closing stages was remarkable – an aspect of the Proteas’ game that has cost them dearly in the recent past and to which they have been looking for a cure for some time.

Dale Steyn, Morné and Albie Morkel, Charl Langeveldt, Makhaya Ntini and Wayne Parnell are among the bowlers that have been entrusted with the task near the end of opponents’ innings – often with disastrous results.

But Theron has impressed in the role for the Warriors and now also in the Green and Gold.

He made a nervous debut in Friday’s first game in Bloemfontein with 3/62 after hastily being included in the squad as replacement for the injured Morné Morkel two days before the match.

“This time I wasn’t nearly as overwhelmed (like he was in Bloemfontein) and I could settle down a lot quicker,” said Theron.

“It was not difficult to slot in with the group because the guys made me feel very welcome. That helped take care of the nerves and it also helped that I recently bowled at some of the world’s best batsmen in the Champions League and Indian Premier League (IPL).”

Theron was in the South African squad for the Twenty20 World Tournament in the West Indies earlier this year, but did not get game time.

He says that he enjoys the challenge of curbing batsmen with Yorkers and slower deliveries when they want to go on the attack.

“If you bowl a poor delivery, you have to admit it to yourself and concentrate on the next one,” he said.

“That’s what I tried to do, even when things did not quite go according to plan.”

While South African captain Graeme Smith was full of praise for Theron after the game, he was far from satisfied with the team’s performance in the series to date.

“There are still too many little things that are problematic and a number of new players are still trying to establish themselves at this level,” said Smith.

“You can still get away with it against a team like Zimbabwe, but it will cost you games against Australia, England or even Pakistan.”

The Proteas play Zimbabwe in Benoni on Friday before embarking on a month-long tour of the United Arab Emirates where they will take on Pakistan.

Read more on:    proteas  |  rusty theron
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