‘There will be times when I look a bit silly’ – Faulkner
Despite South Africa’s failure to defend a 200-plus score against Australia at the Wanderers, bowling coach Charl Langeveldt believes they have made progress under his watch. He singled out their efforts at the end of innings as the most noticeable change and credited it to have more options at the death.
Rather than just rely on Dale Steyn and the yorker – although Kagiso Rabada is showing great promise in that role – Langeveldt has encouraged other bowlers to experiment with changes in line and pace, especially because he believes that will be challenging to get away on the subcontinent.
“Our skill levels have improved, and that was our main focus in the last year-and-a-half. Everyone can bowl at the death and you don’t become predictable,” he said. “We try and encourage the guys to think out of the box sometimes. Maybe bowl a wide yorker or a wide slower ball. You don’t want to go into the hitting zones in India, where the straight boundaries are a lot shorter.”
That may make someone like David Wiese, rather than Steyn, a candidate to bowl at the end. Wiese is known for his ability to take pace off the ball and ask questions with cutters and although Australia targeted him at the Wanderers, he may be able to do a job in India. Kyle Abbott has also shown his ability to hold his nerve at the end and whichever combination South Africa go with, it could free Steyn up to attack through the middle overs along with Imran Tahir.
Kagiso Rabada has continued to impress with the white ball © Associated Press
However, all Langeveldt’s praise did not overshadow his disappointment that his attack did not seal the series on Sunday. “If you want to win a World Cup you need to able to defend 200. We didn’t pull it through, we had a lot of ifs and buts,” he said. “We need to win games like that. If you want to become a champion team you need to adapt – T20 is all about adapting.”
After pegging Australia back to 32 for 3, South Africa were in a handsome position to secure the win. But considering that captain Faf du Plessis thought they should probably have lost the first match in Durban and the first T20 against England in Cape Town, there was a likelihood they would be on the wrong end of a result somewhere.
Du Plessis didn’t mind too much, because he emphasised that South Africa can take game deep and give themselves more of a chance of overcoming pressure situations than previously and Langeveldt does not mind either. Overall, he is pleased with the fight he sees in the current squad, especially because they are sharing the responsibilities of winning matches for the team.
“We’re probably not playing to our full 100% but we’re still getting over the line. In the past games like that have probably gone the other way,” Langeveldt said. “It used to be the case that an individual would change the game. Now we’ve got four or five guys who have won games for us with the bat or with the ball. We’re stepping up in the big moments and that’s key.”
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo