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Ken Borland

New Zealand v South Africa Tests – SuperCricket Q&A

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Ken

Matthew Gardner asked:

Hi KenDale Steyn has not been at his best for quite a few games now. What do you think the problem is? Do you think it”s just a rhythm issue? Personally, I think he is not being used properly. I think he is a bowler who thrives on bowling lots of overs, and although he is a 145-150 kph bowler, he needs to bowl long (5 overs min.) spells to get into rhythm. These 4 over spells in tests and 2 or 3 overs in ODIs aren”t doing much for his rhythm in my opinion.What do you think needs to be done to get him back to his very best?



Ken answered:
Hi Matthew
Well first of all he needs to sort out that awful toe of his! That has got to be inhibiting him and/or affecting his rhythm.
But I tend to agree with you about him bowling lots of overs – which, if he’s not doing for the national team, he must then do domestically.
There is an increasing upswelling of opinion against the modern trend of physios & fitness trainers saying bowlers must rest. The bowlers of the past bowled more overs and will tell you the only way to get bowling-fit is by bowling!
Ivan asked:

Hi Ken.Just two things today.Firstly, I hear the NZ commentators keep talking about how Guptil struggles when he is fielding at slip, why do you think McCullum doesent field there he should find it easier being a keeper?

And secondly, why is it that there is such a major difference between Graeme Smith”s ODI form and Test form, I hear everyone say that he is just a Test player, but he has prefomed in ODI”s in the past?

Ken answered:
Hi Ivan
Yeah, the Kiwi commentators were rabbiting on about Guptill at slip … and then he took a blinder to get rid of Amla! I’m not sure why McCullum doesn’t field slip, perhaps he wants a break from being behind the stumps? But they’re both great outfielders.
Graeme has performed in the very recent ODI past! His last three innings have been 68, 125 & 9. I guess in Test cricket he has more time to get in and can afford some lack in fluency. Maybe he’s been forcing it a bit in ODIs?
Werner Schipper asked:
I still wish we could get JP Duminy into the starting line-up – and I know I”m not the only one.Do you see a space for him in a mature unit such as this, and if so, where? He adds so much balance to any side, as a great middle order run accumulator, probably one of the top 20 fielders in the world and a more than decent spinner.
It would be crazy not to give him a chance again.The dream for me would be to see Kallis opening, with an in-form Smith, then Amla, AB, Rudolph, Duminy.
Ken answered:
Test cricket is about specialists, not bits-and-pieces cricketers. It makes no sense to shuffle the batting order, making your prime batsman open, in order to accommodate someone because he can bowl a bit of off-spin! Duminy will just have to wait next in line for the number six spot behind Rudolph, and I’m sure he will still have a very successful Test career. As disappointing as Alviro Petersen was in Dunedin, he did make a century in his previous test!
With it looking like a green track, could SA go into the 2nd test with four seamers, and no spinner?
Ken answered:
I really doubt that it will be a green track! It was green two days beforee the test, but that’s normal: the groundsman will cut a lot of that grass off before the test, and the rest will brown off. So no change to the bowling attack … and don’t forget that Kallis is a fourth seamer anyway!
Dale asked:
Hi Ken,Firstly i have to say that i am proud of the boys and the way they played in the first test and they didnt stumble as one of the Supersport headlings suggested.

My question to you is everyone is going on about how Philander is going to struggle now that he is on flatter wickets, he runs out and gets 4 wickets in the first innings, why is it that the
SA media always need to over speculate things and always try and bring down or nit pick at a player when he is doing well instead of trying to predict the day he will fail?
Ken answered:
Hi Dale
They did play well in the first test, although their first-innings batting was definitely a stumble!
I think the media has only been supportive of Philander … although it would be remiss not to throw in a word of caution about players. The SA public has the tendency to over-hype somebody based on one or two performances & Philander’s first few tests were on very helpful pitches. Thankfully he has the skill to do well in flatter conditions as well!


Tak asked:
Hello Ken

AB has failed to score in the first test. The 2nd test is going to start tomorrow, right! Well don”t you think, he must bat at number 4 for test, Odi and t20? He should always take that position.

Thank you.
Ken answered:
Hi Tak
I don’t think the batting order had anything to do with AB’s quiet test. He was out to a good ball first up & scored 29 in the second innings. If he bats at four in tests, where do Kallis & Amla go?


Jonathan Naidoo asked:
I think it fair to say that Graham Smith is ”hated” as much as he is loved by SA cricket fans ( at least the ones that I know ) Do you think he cuts it as an opening bat considering that he chases anything and everything that has the slightest semblance of width ? If he pulls it off … great, but more often than not he”s back in the hut putting pressure on Amla and Kallis. Is he what we need at the top of the order ?
Ken answered:
A test average of 49.86 tells you that more often than not Graeme Smith “pulls it off” & that’s also taking into account that he’s been opening the batting in the toughest conditions in the world for openers (SA). Everyone plays a bad shot now and again and I think we can forgive Graeme for his first-innings shot. I think it’s pathetic to focus on that and not the wonderful, match-turning century he scored in the second innings! He was man of the match, you know?


mthobeli asked:
HI Ken

since you take over as s.a coach we improve and we get good result and i want say to you good job and i want see more of TSOTSOBE THANK YOU.
Ken answered:
Thank you … I’m just wondering when I’ll get my first pay-cheque for the great coaching job I’m doing!


Ismail asked:
Hi Ken. notwithstanding the CSA debacle, i feel that the current squad plus the potential we currently with our fringe players are a good sign of things to come. My view is that we probably have the best cricket team & are the envy of the world. I just hope that this potential is converted to actual victories in the coming years. Your thoughts please. Thanx for your time.
Ken answered:
Hi Ismail, there’s no doubt we have the playing talent to be the best in the world!


Brendan asked:
The Dale Steyn question can apply to Wayne Parnel as well. He has the talent and the skill needed to play for SA, no doubt but he”s always in the squad and never playing. Can”t he stay in the squad but play domestic games? Surely he needs to bowl himself into form instead of being thrown into an international game every few weeks? Everyone always says he”s never impressive but he”s never allowed to settle into a rhythm
Ken answered:
Yes – Parnell does need to get more game time with the Warriors. He’s not developing as fast as we’d hoped.


Zak asked:
Should we not replace Tahir with De Lange?
Ken answered:
And not have a spinner on a stodgy, flat pitch?! Tahir bowled the most overs in the NZ first innings (24), only conceded 55 runs and took the crucial wicket of McCullum. He did a good job, better than another fast bowler would have done.


Richard asked:
Y don”t the proteas play 2 spinners in their attack? Can”t Smith bowl anymore?
Ken answered:
I’m not sure we really need 2 spinners in New Zealand. Graeme bowls very seldom these days, I guess he’s a bit out of practice!


Richard asked:
Y dale styen does not bowl inswingers,he only takes most wickets by outswinger delivers.
Ken answered:
Dale’s stock ball is the away-swinger, which is more dangerous, especially when he pitches it on leg and hits off! Dale does have an inswinger, especially when the ball starts reversing, he just chooses to use it sparingly, as a surprise weapon if you like.


Laurence asked:
Hi Ken, how long do you think a slighly under par M Morkel can keep De Lange out of the test side? When M Morkel came onto the scene a few years back I thought he was an incredibly exciting prospect, do you think he has underperformed through his career (bat & ball) and if so what is the problem with this obviously talented player?
Ken answered:
Hi Laurence
I thought Morne bowled very well in the first test – his spell after lunch on the second day was outstanding and he deserved more success. He has underperformed in terms of consistency in the past, his “long levers” mean that his action can easily get out of synch and perhaps he lacked a bit of self-confidence. Having De Lange chasing him probably won’t do him any harm though! Morne has taken 21 wickets in his last 7 tests, which is not too bad.


Kobus Olwagen asked:
Why is Albie Morkel rated so high. in my view his stats are so below par that he does not belong in the ODI squad.When last did he have success with either ball or bat.
Just asking
Ken answered:
In his last game! He scored 41 in Auckland.
But yes, for a player of such talent, Albie should have better figures & should be performing more consistently. For some reason, the SA team can’t get the best out of him like the Chennai Super Kings do! Maybe he just needs the sort of backing MS Dhoni gives him …


Russell Longworth asked:
Hi Ken, for me Tahir has been disappointing.The best spin bowler is Johan Botha.He is the best captain around and can bat and field.Your thoughts
Ken answered:
Hi Russell
Johan Botha might be the best spin bowler in limited-overs cricket, but even that is debatable seeing as though the SA team prefer Peterson at the moment. Johan Botha, by his own admission, is not a test bowler!
Ivan asked:
Hi Ken.

Not really a question, just my personal opinion.

I really feel people should get of Graeme Smith”s back. He still preforms consistantly at test level, He is our second highest Test run scorer and he is still a good leader. And I can”t understand people questioning his tecnique all the time, it may not be pretty but he has scored more that 8000 test runs like that.
Ken answered:
Hi Ivan


mohit sharma asked:
hi ken
well i might sound a bit negative in my comment but i dont think imran tahir is international class bowler..he can take wickets in county circuit but not in international matches..thats for sure..i think its better to give a chance to an off spinner considering that we have 3 right arm fast rough created by their footsteps can only be used offspinner….
Ken answered:
Hi Mohit
I think we need to give Tahir more time – he has taken 16 wickets in his first 6 tests, which isn’t too bad.
Just on the rough, a right-hand pace bowler bowling over the wicket will create rough outside the leg-stump of a right-handed batsman at the same end … perfect for a leg-spinner.


Greg asked:
Hi Ken
I am concerned that the flat pitches in New Zealand are not conducive to results. Any play lost and its a draw. The time is right to pick Marchant De Lange and pepper them with short pitched deliveries, even though the boundaries are very short square. What do you think?
Ken answered:
Hi Greg
Well it make sense for them to have flat pitches to try and nullify our pace attack. A drawn series would be a victory for New Zealand! But because of the flat pitches, we need a spinner and Steyn, Philander & Morkel are quite capable of doing the peppering! Unless it’s a real greentop, I don’t see space for De Lange at the moment.


Dion Pieterse asked:
I”ve seen a couple of pictures recently of an injury to Dale Steyn – his left toe to be more specific. It looked really painful. Interestingly enough though, there has been minimal reference to it in the press. Is there any indication of how bad this injury is and could it be the reason why Dale is not performing at his best? Many thanks. Regards Dion
Ken answered:
Hi Dion
I think it’s definitely affecting his performance, but it hasn’t been bad enough to actually stop him bowling. Hopefully he’ll be pain-free and back to his best in the second test!


Scott Duncan asked:
Hi Ken,

Any news on Steyn”s toe? Can”t see it healing in time, surely can”t play like that. De Lange rattled the Kiwi”s in the ODI”s and showed what he can do in Tests at Durban. Can we expect a straight swop for the 2nd Test between these two?
Ken answered:
Hi Scott
No news on Steyn’s toe yet … but isn’t it wonderful to know that if he can’t play, we’ve still got Marchant de Lange as back-up!


Brandon asked:
Hi. Dale Steyn”s problem for me appears to be one of rhythm. I don”t think the super short spells works for him (in one day and tests).

The man needs time in the middle but we are not providing that opportunity. Is he carrying an injury or are we just over-managing the man?
Ken answered:
Hi Brandon, I think you’re spot on. His knee is troubling him and I agree, he’s being over-managed! If he wasn’t going to be used in the T20 internationals, then he should have played some domestic cricket.


Aalok asked:
How long will it take till we get to see Quinton de Kock in the green and gold? He has been performing outstandingly well in the domestic t20 competitions.
Ken answered:
I guess the question is whether De Kock will play as a wicketkeeper/batsman or specialist batsman? He still has work to do to get his wicketkeeping up to international standard. There’s no doubt he’s a great talent, but I think a season or two of dominating in franchise four-day cricket (SuperSport Series) will do him a world of good.


Mthetheleli Lindwa asked:
Hi Ken
I just want to salute the boys for the they have been playing lately. All the players now seem to know that they have the responsibility in the pitch. Bowlers are doing great job even batesmen are also scoring runs. I am very happy for Smith and Ruldoph, Kallis, Mark Vendon, Phillander, Tsotsobe, Ab and Morkel brothers etc. Gary and Allan are doing a wonderful job.
Ken answered:
Hi Mthetheleli, agreed, nice to have such positive vibes out there!


Siyabonga asked:
With Mark Gillespie replacing Tim Southee in the New Zealand squad, how does that make their bowling department strong or else. Is Mark going to be a problem to the SA batsmen?
Ken answered:
Gillespie is a short, skiddy fast bowler who does swing it – especially reverse with the older ball. Southee has been so innocuous so it’s bound to be an improvement!


Brendan asked:
Hi Ken, I was wondering what your thoughts are on Dale Steyn at present. He”s still taking wickets and still bowling well but he doesn”t seem to be taking wickets as he did before. Is this because of him not bowling enough and being over managed and can”t settle into a rhythm, South Africa”s lack of test cricket or Vernon Philander taking so many wickets that Steyn doesn”t seem to have as many left to take? I know he”s not bowling poorly but he doesn”t look like he”s at his best at the moment
Ken answered:
Hi Brendan
I’m not sure all these periods of rest are doing him much good, but there’s no doubt his painful toe injury is also affecting him. Philander has been hogging the wickets lately, but who cares as long as we get all 10 as quickly as possible! And you’re right, it’s not as if Dale is bowling badly! Shows you what high standards we’ve expected from him!


Masixole Maxwell Ndala asked:
Does the draw with NZ affect our top rankings in test matches? I mean if we can win the remaining matches will still rise up??????
Ken answered:
We can only overtake England after the April 1 cut-off for the annual prizemoney. If we beat New Zealand 2-0 & England lose 2-0 to Sri Lanka, then South Africa will be number 1.

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