Proteas casting eye to fast bowling future

2020-04-22 11:59
Charl Langeveldt (Gallo)
Charl Langeveldt (Gallo)

Ever since readmission when Allan Donald started ripping through opposition batting line-ups, South African cricket's fast bowling department has been one of its major strengths. 

Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander - a seamer more than a speedster - followed and all will go down as Proteas legends after glittering Test careers. 

Former Proteas coach Ottis Gibson was near-obsessed with the fast bowling he had at his disposal during his time in South Africa and banked heavily on his quicks firing at the 2019 World Cup, though injuries ensured that those plans fell to pieces. 

Now, under the leadership of new coach mark Boucher, the Proteas attack in all formats is led by Kagiso Rabada while Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi are the other main cogs in the machine. 

Nortje and Rabada, when he cranks it up, are express pace while there were dips in Ngidi's speeds in the recently-completed limited overs series against England and then Australia. 

Still, Ngidi left the summer as South Africa's most destructive bowler in white ball cricket and what he may have lost in pace, he more than made up for with a newly developed skill set that was one of the most encouraging signs to come out of the attack. 

Ngidi has shown in the past that his speeds can reach the 150 kph mark, though, which leaves the current Proteas crop with a new-look but potentially frightening attack. 

Steyn, too, is still on the scene and is eyeing the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year - if it goes ahead - though he has retired from Test and ODI cricket. 

The man currently in charge of the seam department in the national set-up is Charl Langeveldt, who came on board when Boucher and director of cricket Graeme Smith joined the fray in December. 

Langeveldt was particularly impressed with Ngidi over the summer and while he knows that he has a strong group to work with, he believes that growing the pool of talent is an area where he and the Proteas management team need to be proactive. 

Langeveldt confirmed that a national fast bowling camp was due to take place in April but it had to be scrapped as a result of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

A meeting was due to be held on Wednesday to discuss how and when such camps could be facilitated moving forward. 

"We've been looking around the country for young, up and coming bowlers ... we are definitely looking for young fast bowlers," Langeveldt said this week. 

"You always have to have replacements if somebody gets injured at international level and we want to upskill these bowlers."

Langeveldt mentioned the likes of 19-year-old Gerald Coetzee, who played in this year's U-19 World Cup, as well as Glenton Stuurman (27) from the Warriors, Stefan Tait (24) from SWD and Lutho Sipamla, who has already broken through onto the international stage.

"These are the guys who are going to be the back-up to our national team and we want to speed up that process," Langeveldt said. 

"I think these camps are really important to get these guys up to international standards and I think that's the way forward. 

"It's exciting times ... we're still a young bowling attack learning a lot about international cricket."

The Proteas were due to be in action in June for a limited overs tour of Sri Lanka, but that trip has been postponed indefinitely as the global fight against the coronavirus continues. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  charl langeveldt  |  cricket


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