Don’t give Aussies even an inch, Donald tells Kiwi bowlers

By Abhishek Roy, IANS
Thursday, February 24, 2011

NAGPUR - Ahead of their much awaited World Cup clash with arch-rivals Australia, bowling coach Allan Donald has a simple advice for New Zealand bowlers: “Keep it narrow.”

The South African legend knows that Australian batsmen would come down heavily on the New Zealand bowlers if given room on the placid track at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, where nearly 600 runs were scored in the match between England and the Netherlands.

“I have asked boys to bowl straight upfront. The ball doesnt swing much here and that is the area of concern for us. We are working on narrowing down our lines and if we can do that and bowl according to the field, it will be great,” Donald told IANS on the eve of the trans-Tasman clash.

Though New Zealand won it easy against Kenya in their opening match, Donald pointed out that the loss to India in the warm-up game was a good learning experience for the bowlers and it will stand them in good stead against Australia.

“The warm-up game against India was a good learning experience. It taught us how to execute our plans well. On low and slow sub-continent pitches you cant give the batsmen an inch,” he said.

Donald, who took over as the bowling consultant last month, said since his appointment he has been teaching the boys the art of reverse swing.

“It is something new to them. Understanding what is reverse swing and executing it properly is a tough task. On Indian pitches, the ball doesnt swing much off the track, so reverse swing will play an important role,” he said.

Donald, however, pointed out that if the New Zealand bowlers keep themselves fit they would have a psychological edge.

“Fast bowling in the sub-continent is always tough. You have to know how to preserve yourself in these harsh conditions. If our bowlers stay physically fit, they will have a psychological edge,” he said.

On Indias pace battery, Donald said: “It is a good bunch and Zaheer (Khan) has showed that he is a leader. Indian pacers will play an equally important role like the spinners in the tournament.”

Donald also had a word of advice for temperamental fast bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth, with whom he had worked during his stint as Warwickshire coach in 2009.

“He is an aggressive fast bowler. But he has to control his emotions. A calm fast bowler can be dangerous for any team,” he said.

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