Proteas bowling coach, Allan Donald has commended the attitude and skill of the current bowling line-up ahead of the second Sunfoil Test starting at Sahara Park Newlands on Thursday. Donald, the leader of some lethal attacks during his playing days, has been particularly impressed with the humility with which the players prepare and celebrate their successes, an attribute firmly instilled by coach Gary Kirsten.
“They have their feet on the ground,” Donald said in Cape Town on Wednesday. “In our team meetings it is something that Gary (Kirsten) hammers on and that is to stay humble in our processes. Humble towards whom we play against and humble in our own personal space, that is what these players do well.”
The pace bowlers have been consistent in all conditions that they have faced in the last year, which have included away tours to New Zealand, England and Australia. While the seam friendly conditions at home have been of assistance, Donald believes their success comes down to their understanding of their own game strategies.
“We have four people who know their games inside out,” he said. “That is a great bonus to have, it’s not like someone coming in as a rookie where you need to sit them down and guide them through lengths and strategies. You have four guys who understand their roles and where they fit in. They know their actions, they know their lengths, and they have adapted to different conditions as well, you can’t coach that, that is a great position to be in.
“The heat and pace is relentless from both ends, that is a big accolade for this group of people,” he added. “That is about keeping in check with their attitude everyday to make sure that we stay relentless in our approach every day. It’s fantastic to work with this group of people,” Donald concluded.
Proteas opening batsman, Alviro Petersen was equally complimentary of the pace attack, and felt that their success with the ball made an important impact on the batting line-up’s psyche.
“The bowlers deserve all of the “hurrah” going on about them,” Petersen said. “They have been brilliant for us, they have got us out of tight situations. There is pressure on us because we know that as a batting unit we must perform, but it also makes it easier because often you walk in to bat in the second innings and you have a bit of a lead because the bowlers have made that lead possible and there is not much pressure.”