South Africa’s Allan Donald, one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history, has followed Bangladesh in the two-match Test series. The former legendary right-arm paceman, often called the “White Lightning”, also came to Boland Park, Paarl to watch the second and penultimate ODI between the Tigers and the Proteas.
The former New Zealand and South Africa bowling coach has a few thoughts in his mind regarding Bangladesh’s pace bowling during the Test series and gave some advice to the Tigers pacers for their betterment in the longest format. The conversations took place in Paarl.
Bangladesh put in below-par performance in the two Tests against the Proteas. When questioned as to how the Tigers pacers can improve in Test cricket, Donald said there is no other option but to play more and more Tests in order to get better in the longer version.
“Obviously you have to play more Test cricket. How much Test cricket do Bangladesh pacers play a year? Test cricket is the place where you learn your best cricket. That’s where you understand yourself and your strength and weakness as a bowler. I think the best learning is coming from the longer version of the game. I think that’s where Bangladesh will really learn from, in the longer formats,” said Donald.
“One major thing Bangladeshi bowlers suffered in the South Africa tour is not being able to break partnerships. If we sum up the previous matches, we will find the Proteas batsmen formed huge partnerships, both in Test and the ODI series, and even in the practice match,” he added.
South Africa openers formed a 196-run stand in the first innings of the first Test at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, and 30 in the second innings, 243 in the only innings of the second Test at Mangaung Oval, 147 in the 50-over practice game, 282 unbroken runs in the first ODI at De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley, 90 in the second ODI and 119 in the third ODI at Buffalo Park in East London.
Donald believes the Tigers bowlers need to be more creative and think out of the box when things don’t go their way. He said they just can’t only rely on the opposition batsmen’s mistakes to break partnerships.
“For me, Bangladesh didn’t show any creativity in their thinking on the field. The captain can’t instruct his bowlers to do something every time. It must come from the bowler himself as well. That’s the one thing they lack,” he explained.
“Bangladesh have a great bowling coach, Courtney Walsh, who probably has said all these things. I am sure Courtney has been talking about this to his bowlers. You just need to think out of the box. And I just think when it came to being creative and react much quicker to a partnership developing – Bangladesh were a little bit slow catching up.
“When I talk about creativity, it’s being able to reverse the ball from over and around, setting silly fields and making batsmen have a look all the time. Just making batsmen uncomfortable and never give them chance to guess your next move. In our time, we were always changing fields, always being clever in creating pressure – one guy will bowl short, full, short, full. Just two guys at the same time, just go bouncer, short. Just to try and spark something. Bangladesh need to develop such things to break big partnerships,” the 51-year old concluded.