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Ken Borland

Bowling too short in foreign conditions giving Charl kittens

Posted on March 24, 2022 by Ken

South African pacemen bowling too short in foreign conditions has been enough to give their fans and coaches kittens in the past, but current bowling coach Charl Langeveldt has been stressing the need for fuller lengths in New Zealand.

The Proteas on Monday had their first look at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, the venue for the first Test against the Black Caps starting at midnight on Wednesday evening, South African time. They have also been practising at the university ground in the largest city on the South Island.

“We had our first practice at Hagley Oval and there were overcast conditions and a green pitch,” Langeveldt said on Monday. “But it can be misleading because it actually played better than it looked.

“With the new ball there was a bit of swing and seam, but then batting got better, easier when the ball got older. So batsmen need to stay in and take it deep and our bowlers need to make them play at the new ball.

“So we need to bowl a fuller length and once the ball is old we can go back to the usual four-to-six metres from the bat. We have to adapt and get fuller, normally we bowl back-of-a-length in South Africa.

“So it can be harder for the guys to get those fuller lengths going. But everyone is looking good out in the middle, the bowlers are doing it,” Langeveldt said.

And the changeable weather also plays a big part in a team’s tactics.

“When the sun comes out, it gets a bit easier for batting and there’s not so much swing and nip,” Langeveldt said. “The grass starts to look a different colour.

“In New Zealand, generally everyone needs to chip in with a coupe of wickets, but if it is your day then you must exploit the conditions and go with it. It’s not as warm so you can bowl longer spells, it’s not as testing on the body.

“Our confidence is high after the India tour and momentum is important for both batsmen and bowlers. The batsmen must take it deep and then they can score big if they rake care of the new ball.

“The bowlers must challenge them and make them play. We will look at how often the opposition batsmen have been out caught behind or lbw, but we will focus on our strengths,” Langeveldt said.

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