South Africa vs India 2018: Allan Donald credits Ottis Gibson for four-pacer strategy
What's the story?
Former South Africa pace spearhead Allan Donald has hailed their incumbent coach Ottis Gibson's strategy to employ four fast bowlers during the ongoing home series against India.
“A lot of credit goes to him. When I was playing, we had three quicks and Jacques Kallis. But after the departure of Kallis, we became conservative. If we want our pacemen to go all out, then we need to have four of them,” Donald told Sportstar.
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After the hosts had beaten India in the first Test at Cape Town, coach Gibson had expressed his desire to continue the home season with four quicks, who were Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada in that match.
"I'm a very fast-bowling minded coach and I guess we will always have to find a balance to see if we can get four fast bowlers in the team, first of all. We'll look at things like are the conditions suited to four fast bowlers. If not we try and shape the team in other ways. Ultimately, especially in this series and for the rest of the summer, we will be looking to see how best we can fit four fast bowlers into whatever formula we come up with," Gibson had said after the win at Cape Town.
The heart of the matter
When Steyn was out injured for the next game at Centurion, young debutant Lungi Ngidi replaced him for that match, which too, South Africa went on to win to seal the series with one match to play. The 51-year-old Donald was also all praise for the newcomer, who bagged 6/39 in the second innings, and said, “I saw him bowl two years ago in a one-day match and immediately knew he had all the ingredients. He is still a puppy in the big league but has it in him to go all the way.
“Lungi not just has loads of ability, he is fast and bowls a heavy ball, but is also a very bright lad. He’s a stunning talent and a very mature, young bowler.”
The final Test between South Africa and India starts at Johannesburg on January 24 with the visitors playing for pride to avoid a 0-3 whitewash against the formidable hosts.
While Gibson had said that he would prefer a quartet of pacers during the rest of the home season if the conditions so allow, it will be intriguing to see who he opts for once Steyn returns to full fitness as Australia are set to play four Tests in the African nation starting March 1. He also has the option of bringing in all-rounder Chris Morris if he chooses to bring more depth in the batting order.Published 21 Jan 2018, 14:41 IST