Pitching full length deliveries, attacking the stumps and setting straighter field placements should be the mantra for England pacers when they counter a star-studded Indian batting line-up during the upcoming Test series, says South Africa great Allan Donald. Donald had toured India in 1996 and in 1999-00. On the second occasion, South Africa managed to blank India 2-0 with four pronged pace attack comprising Donald himself, Shaun Pollock, Nantie Hayward and Jacques Kallis making life miserable for Indian batters. Donald, in fact, had dismissed Rahul Dravid at Wankhede stadium and Sachin Tendulkar at Chinnaswamy stadium during that series.
An acclaimed bowling coach now, Donald was asked what could potentially work for the likes of James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and co during the next five weeks and he narrated what they did during the 1999-2000 series. “Our mindset was always to attack when Hansie Cronje was captain. Coach (late) Bob Woolmer obviously had more Indian experience than we ever did because he played a fair bit, he coached there, understood the mindset, Indian mindset and the mentality,” Donald told PTI during an interaction arranged by SA20.
“The first thing we always talked about was the importance of the first 25 to 30 overs with a new ball. And the length was always going to be slightly fuller, attacking the stumps, setting straight fields almost straight away.” The ‘White Lightening’ feels that English pacers would know that pitches won’t have a lot of carry.
“We knew that there weren’t going to be much carry in the pitches, so bringing the stumps into play almost every ball is important. And if there is a bit of swing, that’s the only thing that you’ve got to work with in a short space of time,” he explained.
Donald believes that setting negative fields like stationing a deep square leg or sweeper is actually a negative strategy in India.
“Once we get past that new ball, you don’t set negative fields, you don’t have sweepers out, but you do have maybe an extra fielder out into the covers. It gives you that extra protection,” he further elaborated.
Donald, who was Bangladesh’s bowling coach till ODI World Cup, said he would love to be back in the IPL set-up like earlier times when he was associated with RCB and before that with a franchise in SA20.
“I’d love to, I really do. Obviously, when SA 20 came in, I was busy with Bangladesh, so that would have been in conflict of interest.
“So I missed out there and hopefully next year something comes up. And hopefully even in the IPL, with the years going forward, I had such a wonderful time with RCB. It’s a magnificent franchise.
“And not to talk about the IPL, IPL is just an amazing two months that you will never forget. It’s the best tournament in the world. There’s no question about it.
“I’m definitely not discounting myself out. It’s just a matter of getting an opportunity or foot in the door and hopefully that will happen next year,” the legend said.
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