Hashim Amla’s bowling decisions came under fire from the Supersport analysts Kepler Wessels and Michael Holding after England finished day one of the second Test on 317-5.
On the way Amla used Morne Morkel through the day
Kepler Wessels: ‘I just can’t understand why Morkel was not used more. OK, in the first session, he didn’t bowl particularly well, he didn’t have his rhythm; but why did he not bowl straight after lunch? Why did your best bowler, your most experienced bowler, not come in at that time? The session then got it away from them. Why didn’t the second new ball go straight to Morne?’
Michael Holding: Rabada bowled seven overs on the trot and came back straight after lunch… bang, he gets the ball again. After tea, the new guy, not accustomed to doing that much work in one day, gets the ball again and you can see he is getting a bit tired. Morne Morkel is accustomed to that; even if he is a little bit tired, he is going to find a way… you can’t give these two young players that kind of load. They don’t bowl at this kind of intensity at provincial level.
On the reasoning…
Wessels: ‘We won’t talk about Stiaan van Zyl as a bowler; just the bowlers: you have got to manage four bowlers; two of them are inexperienced. That doesn’t mean they have to bowl the same number of overs to get you through the day. What it means is your most experienced guy, the guy who has the best chance of getting a wicket, should take the lion’s share of the bowling. I know he bowled 40 overs in Durban, but still, he is leading the attack and you expect that.
‘I think cricket awareness is important at all levels but at Test match level it is incredibly important: the feel for the game when you are making decisions, your gut feelings, and they are usually right. But today I just could not fathom some of those decision.’
Holding: The load doesn’t have to be spread across all bowlers equally. Morne bowled 40 overs in the match in Durban. But this is modern-day cricket. These guys are much fitter today than they were 20-30 years ago. You should not be struggling after bowling 40 overs in a Test match, even with the short turnaound.
‘Today we saw two inexperienced, young bowlers bowling 20 overs in one day alone. That should not have been their job. Morne, their most experienced bowler, who looked fine, at no point could you say he was struggling, he would have been able to take the load. Forget the balls he bowled in Durban. He should have bowled 28-29 overs and let the young guys bowl 17, because he is the one who be able to take the load.
‘Piedt could have bowled more too, he was going at three an over, he wasn’t bowling badly, and Van Zyl was OK. Let him bowl a couple of overs when the new ball is coming up. That’s what I thought was happening when Morne was taken off; to give him a rest because he will take the new ball. I don’t understand that, I don’t understand why he was not given the new ball. And after lunch, you had Morris and Rabada and Morne is walking around at fine leg. That cannot happen.’