Proteas bowling attack

Forum » Cricket » Proteas bowling attack

Jun 03, 2019, 10:39

What's going on with the bowlers at the WC?

When they've bowled the correct lines it's been consistently successful. 

All the Protea seamers, Steyn aside, are tall. There is also very little swing on pitches that are holding up ever so slightly but not alarming so.

There's not much in the way of options and there isn't much doubt as to how they should be bowling. The problem is that they're just not.

So what is the problem?

Why are Rabada and Ngidi not bowling slightly shorter and making use of the hint of uncertainty in the pitch? 

They either overdo it and chuck down pull practice long hops, bowl too full or too short on leg, offer soft half volleys and let off balls...only rarely asking solid questions.

The problem they're facing as a collective right now is the same problem Morkel suffered under for not finding an answer to. It's a question of forcing batsmen to drive on the up while never being fully comfortable on the front foot. 

Once that atmosphere is created, the straight, slower and cutter balls gain exponential value. And this is when they become wicket taking balls.

Morkel executed this for spells during his career but he never fully conquered it. Had he done so, he'd have been prolific. It has to be remembered that his height made the margin for error a lot smaller.

Ngidi and Rabada should take a lesson from Andile's first wicket yesterday. Even at his pace, that slightly shorter length on these pitches is a nightmare. Four or five of those in a over mixed up with wicket taking balls is exactly what has been working. DO MORE OF IT!!!

I get the feeling that it's an execution problem. The amount of clearly bad balls being bowled are evidence in that regard.

Steyn's return and his skiddyness will help to slow down the runs a bit but might not take many wickets. The other bowlers need to come to the party else its bye bye butterfly.

Jun 03, 2019, 11:08

Spot on. No further comment to be added. ...and that takes a lot

Jun 03, 2019, 15:06


I would add that bowling full on these pitches is a disaster. Unless you manage to get the batter to play a false shot and chase a full wide one, there will be very little success bowling stock full balls.

It's because of the fact that there is little to no movement in the air on offer and the present bowlers don't generally get much deviation off of the seam either, never mind on pitches that have been a bit undercooked(soft) like the Oval strips. 

How many times did you see any seam movement during the Eng and Bang games? Hardly ever right?

If you do bowl full then you completely bypass the hint of uncertainty about the pitch's pace. The only advantage on offer for the bowler.

The ball is not slowing up that much, so you're not going to dupe the batter into playing an early drive and lobbing it up. He's going to play a standard drive at normal speed and get the result he was looking for. As we've seen.

The uncertainty is more in the batter's mind due to the odd ball that sits up slightly than actually in the behavior of the pitch itself from over to over. Something that doesn't cross his mind when you bowl full and he just has to hit through the line.

If you land on a good length, top of off, the pitch is playing true enough that unless you bowl a jaffer, it won't trouble the batter too much either. They'll just knock you around for ones and twos all day long. 

Slightly short of a length, at a fifth or sixth stump, is where you maximize the perceived uncertainty and force the batter to be brave. 

Really, Andile,s first wicket yesterday. That was the perfect delivery for those conditions. It's just a crying shame that nobody else with more pace could hit the same length more than once an over.

Here are some time stamps and a video that illustrates the trouble that length was causing all day. Why was it ignored???

00:25 - Look at where the ball pitches. And see the batter's response. Totally flumaxed.




Jun 03, 2019, 16:31

If you are going to bowl lines and contain runs.....bat first. If you bowl first, it's because wickets should be there for the taking. The Proteas have done the opposite......and it will never work. These chokers will never chase down a respectable total.

My take is a bit different.....our guys are bowling with no hostility. Contrast the difference between Rabada and Archer on the same pitch.....Archer did most of the damage bowling short of a length with intent and pace.

Jun 03, 2019, 18:58

Rabada's natural and effortless pace makes him almost adverse to bowling aggressively. Like it's too easy for him to stay calm.

There was a recent clip where he was talking about bowling with emotion.

He's our most likely to take on the killer role but he's just such a nice guy. Lots of good nature that his beast has to break out of.

If you watch Rabada and Steyn running in side by side...

One looks like the terminator and the other is Rabada.

Maybe the coach should give the boy some poetic licence. He does like rap after all.

Jun 03, 2019, 21:04

Show him some old tapes of Dennis Lillie and Wes Hall...or the South African kid who drop kicked the Terminator!

Jun 04, 2019, 08:14

I was at that event where Arnie got kicked Moz.

My lady was playing volleyball there.

Was huge. I didn't see one corner of the seven floors in the convention centre that wasn't hosting something.

What do you reckon, can Rabada take on the killer role?

I struggle to see it.

Jun 04, 2019, 09:01

I also believed the propaganda about the fearsome SA bowling attack and there as nothing fearsome about that lot.   Rabada at best was iffy and the rest was non-plussed. 

I think that the real fast bowler - Nortje - is out with an injury.   Steyn is just about as gentle as a lamb at present and so are the batsmen.   I was a bit disappointed about De Kock's batting in the last innings, but at last Markram and Du Plessis showed some guts.

There are thus far 4 passengers in the team - namely Amla, Duminy, Pretorius and Morris in the team and wit Miller also appearing to be poor as hell.   We will  soon see whether Steyn is also in the useless column,      

Jun 04, 2019, 10:23

Mike this attack is fearsome. 

The problem is that even the most deadly weapon on earth means nothing if it's badly managed and poorly directed.

This is where Ottis needs to get off the dock of the bay and stop wasting everybody's time - See what i did there?

Jun 04, 2019, 10:59

Plum, I'm going to disagree with you that bowling is our big problem.

Yes, I agree that our bowlers have underperformed and they haven't shown the kind of aggression we'd like to see in a major comp like this, but the batsmen have been even more gutless and the less said about our incompetent, narcissistic and clueless captain the better.

Jun 04, 2019, 13:54

The batting just looks like an easier problem to solve Rooi.

There was progress between the first and second games. They just played less silly shots.

The bowling seemed even more clueless against Bangladesh though.

One top six batter can't cost you a game as easily as an under'performing front line bowler can.

In both games, the bowlers let the top three from the opposition set up the game for themselves.

If between the two opening bowlers they take two wickets in the first ten overs, even at 6 an over, i consider their opening spells a success. Tahir has thus far been the only opener to take a wicket in his first spell.

We then end up relying on our holding bowlers to get out the best batters in the opposition side who are also set by that point.

That's a problem i see.

Jun 04, 2019, 14:09

I voiced my opinion about our cricket in general on another forum earlier and, TBH, I think they same goes for most of our sport. Bar, perhaps, the Blitzbokke. This was what I said:

“We? are? fucking arrogant. We believe this shyte that SA sports sides ?are? great and that we can beat everybody on a trot. In cricket we believe that we are much better at chasing a high score than putting up a high score.

Well, surprise surprise. Times have changed. We were great and we were better at chasing a high score. We no longer have the best opening batsmen in the world and the best bowler in the world and the best all rounder and the best wicket keeper in the world all in? one side at the same time. Most of all, we do not seem to h?ave that fighting grit anymore. I’m talking about the type of spirit that made for stuff like the 438 game, or the fight to draw at Lord’s on day five in 2008 (was it?) or the test in Oz when Dale Steyn and JP dug in and grabbed v?ictory? from the jaws of defeat. ?

? We need to stop riding on our reputation from the past.”

Jun 05, 2019, 00:57

We? are? fucking arrogant."

Huh? What bollocks.......try delusional. Now there, that's more accurate.

Jun 05, 2019, 21:05

The spectators are arrogant, the players are just underachievers.. or perhaps they are arrogant in the knowledge that they just won't be dropped no matter how shite they are.

Jun 06, 2019, 01:44

Funny that one about the fans being arrogant, nope, they're delusional and I said in an earlier post, they actually believe that they do not need AB360 and Dale Steyn. The mind boggles.

Jun 06, 2019, 09:14

Fact is...

Yesterday in Rabada's first spell he bowled how he should have been instructed to against both ENG and BANG.

Bumrah bowled as well as he could but Kagiso's first spell put Bumrah's best to shame.

For those that didn't see the game. Kagiso's first spell yesterday, in my view, is the best ODI opening spell I've seen from a Protea bowler in a very very long time.

These guys are pros. Controlling the controllable means ensuring that you have the right plan. Nobody can stop you from having the right tactic.

So the question is...

Has it been bad direction or poor execution?

Having played too much cricket in my life I am starting to think that the plan was wrong in the first two games.

Bumrah bowled consistently on the right length in his first five yesterday, and Ottis finally took the lesson. Instructed Kagiso to emulate that line and length. And it was immediately successful in both wickets, of which there could have bee more quite easily, and R/O.

It's the same length I was talking about before. 

Anyone that has played in the UK knows that their pitches are friendly to bowlers that bowl just short of a length and at a fifth/sixth stump.

They also know that bowling too full there is a disaster. Too short is even worse. A good length is never threatening unless there is swing. None of this is a mystery. 

I was caught between deciding if it was an execution of planning problem. 

Look at the next few games and see how our quicks bowl. 

That'll tell us if we're dealing with a nonse of a coach or not.

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top