Andrew Hudson believes South African fast bowler Dale Steyn needs a break from cricket and says it’s too early to write off Imran Tahir’s Test career.
In the second part of his interview with SACricketmag.com, Hudson, whose five-year tenure as Cricket South Africa’s convenor of selectors comes to an end in June, tells Kobus Pretorius of the challenges that Steyn faces, and why he thinks Tahir still has a future in Test cricket.
Steyn had a poor World Cup where he probably had his worst ODI performance in the semi-final, and is struggling for regular game time in the IPL. He turns 32 in June and seems to be at a crossroads in his career.
There has been talk about Steyn retiring from ODI cricket to focus on Tests, but there has been no indication from the player about his future.
‘A lot will depend on Dale,’ said Hudson. ‘He is very tough on himself and his performances.
‘Perhaps he needs some time out away from the game. He would have to talk to Russell Domingo about possibly retiring from ODI cricket, but CSA will need to find a way to manage his workload.
‘They need to work together and have a plan.’
Hudson also gave insights into Imran Tahir’s struggles in Test cricket compared to his outstanding achievements in the shorter formats of the game.
‘Test cricket is different, from a bowling perspective,’ said Hudson.
‘Imran has impressed me hugely. He knows his game well. The variation he has makes it difficult for batsmen in the shorter formats to pick him. That uncertainty is a massive thing in ODI and T20 cricket.
‘But there is no urgency in Test cricket to create runs and opportunities to score, which means batsmen don’t have to take risks, making it difficult for Imran to build pressure. Batsmen can just wait for the bad ball and punish it.
‘I will definitely not write off Imran. One solution could be to let him bowl shorter spells of four overs in Test cricket and see if that works. He will always be a factor where the wickets are spinning.’
With regard to candidates for South Africa’s new bowling coach, Hudson said it was a question for Domingo.
‘The dynamic among the coaching staff is important. Whoever it is will have to be capable and do the job that Russell wants them to do. Those names you mentioned [Charl Langeveldt, Makhaya Ntini, Lance Klusener and Paul Adams] are all viable candidates.’
Read the first part of the interview here.