With a short turnaround between Tests and an increased workload, the Proteas management are acutely conscious of monitoring their bowlers, says coach Russell Domingo.
The Proteas will go into the second Test, at Newlands on Monday, with the same starting XI that left Port Elizabeth victorious by 206 runs on Friday.
‘We were fortunate that it was a fairly short first innings for the bowlers [just 65 overs were bowled], but I’m happy we got the full 90 overs under our belt in the second innings, ‘said Domingo. ‘It is a fine line being over-bowled and under-bowled.’
The fast bowlers are not likely to get a break this series, as Domingo insisted that the Proteas will always pick their best side for Test cricket, and that they may even use four seamers at the Wanderers in the final Test.
But they are alive to the fact that as young a bowler as Kagiso Rabada is at 21, he is shouldering a senior role. ‘He is a champion bowler, he has the X factor and as he showed in the last game, he is a bowler who gets people out. But he is young and there will be inconsistency in his performance, which is why we must manage him carefully, particularly in the one-day games and T20s.’
Jacques Kallis, the Proteas’ greatest all-rounder, joined the Proteas on an informal basis at Newlands, to ‘share stories and ideas’, which only emphasised the precarious depth of the bowling. He was an exrtremely effective fifth bowler, a role which is now sorely missed
‘His role as a bowler in the team cannot be underestimated, but at the same time, using him perhaps limited the role of the spinners,’ said Domingo. ‘It has provided an opportunity for the spinners. Whereas, they would perhaps bowl 10 overs, now they have got step up and bowl 25 overs in the innings.’
Kallis sat in on the team meetings, offering advice and tip where needed.
‘It was absolutely great having him around,’ said Domingo. ‘Some of the players, like Temba Bavuma, had never met him before. He was just there, available to talk to the players. If anyone wanted to know anything, or talk about their feelings, they could just talk to him.’
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