Cape Town - Allan Donald is excited about the call-up of Marchant de Lange as a back-up for the injured Dale Steyn. If selected, though, he must be allowed to fulfil the role of enforcer, intimidator and bullying pace merchant. Don’t hand-cuff him, but allow him to attack in the remainder of the test series against India, he said.
Donald, former South African bowling coach and one of South Africa’s greatest fast bowlers of all time, was part of the team that stunned India on home soil in 2000. South Africa’s clean-sweep of 2-0 in the test series was remarkable. It was the first time in 13 years that India had suffered defeat in a test series on home soil.
Donald said under the captaincy of Hansie Cronjé, the bowlers were summoned to bowl aggressively in short bursts of four overs. They operated at two different lengths. One length was always a shorter one which was aimed at intimidating the top-order and letting them smell the leather.
The other length was a fuller more probing one, and the follow-up deliveries were sometimes utilized, especially when the batsmen were a bit tentative and their foot movement was compromised by the hostile shorter deliveries earlier in the same over.
According to Donald, the use of the bouncer must not be misunderstood as long hops which can be dispatched easily. The accuracy of those deliveries is important.
“We got some wickets in that series because of uneven bounce and mistimed hooks by the Indian top-order,” he said. “Somebody like Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock were also very accurate in executing the plan,” he said.
Donald said De Lange operates at express pace close to 150 kilometres per hour and can also use reverse swing to dismiss batsmen.
De Lange captured 10 wickets in four matches in the Momentum One Day Cup competition in November at an average of 19.40 and although he conceded 5.49 runs per over, he assisted in restricting opposing teams as they lost quick wickets against the hostile, lanky fast bowler.
“You have to be patient with Marchant, as it has been a year or two since he last played test cricket. But you need fast bowlers to be prepared to play the bullying, intimidating role.
“If you use him, you cannot hand-cuff him. But you must unleash him and allow him to express himself,” he said.
De Lange has had his share of injury scares, but has been known to take wickets in abundance when on song. He captured seven for 81 on his test debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead. In the 2014/2015-season, he nipped out 26 batsmen in six Sunfoil Series matches with his best innings-haul his 6-108 against the Knights in a high-scoring game.
The dynamic fast bowler Kagiso Rabada employed the attacking, enforcer role with success during the one-day international series against India and unsettled them with his accuracy, potent shorter deliveries and the surprise follow-up yorkers. The 20-year old might be called upon to fulfil a similar role in the third test against India in Nagpur starting on Wednesday.
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