Wayne Parnell says playing in England’s T20 Blast tournament helped him to improve his slow-ball variations.
The 32-year-old returned to the Proteas white-ball set-up after a four-year absence in November 2021 and played in three of the five matches in the recent T20I series against India.
His best performance with the ball – 1-23 in four overs – came in the Proteas’ four-wicket win in Cuttack.
In an interview with Rapport newspaper, Parnell said England’s white-ball revolution, and big-hitting batsmen like Jos Buttler and Jason Roy, forced him to adapt his game in the T20 Blast while playing for Worcestershire.
“If you wanted to survive, you had to stay one delivery ahead of the batsman. I was able to do that. We won the Vitality Blast in 2018 and reached the final in 2019.”
In 2018, Parnell took 14 wickets at an average of 18.35 and an economy rate of 7.94. He picked up 13 wickets in 2019, with best bowling figures of 4-25.
“Moeen Ali was a factor in my performances,” said Parnell. “He supported me. In the team setup, I felt loved and the team believed in me.
“I learned to improve the different slow-ball variations. I know when to use the off-cutter [slower delivery that swings into the right batsman], leg-cutter [slower ball that swings away from the right batsman] and the slower ball that is rolled out at the back of the hand.”
Former Proteas coach Eric Simons said Parnell had impressed him recently.
“Where he has lost speed and bounce, he compensates with his variation in skills and his match awareness,” Simons told Rapport. “He is intelligent and made very, very good tactical decisions in the T20 series against India.”