CSA fine-tune Proteas' fast bowlers

22 June 2018 - 15:53 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma of the Proteas during the Standard Bank Proteas Media Opportunity at TUKS Cricket Oval on June 12, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma of the Proteas during the Standard Bank Proteas Media Opportunity at TUKS Cricket Oval on June 12, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa (CSA) high performance manager Vincent Barnes has hailed their elite fast bowlers camp at University of Pretoria last week‚ where they prepared for the outgoing tour of Sri Lanka‚ as a success.

Barnes said during the focus in the camp‚ which was attended by Kagiso Rabada‚ Vernon Philander‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ Junior Dala and some of the country’s rising franchise and academy bowlers‚ was on skills‚ strategy‚ fitness and conditioning and rehabilitation assistance.

“The camp provided the ideal preparation for the fast bowlers who will be touring the subcontinent next month when the Proteas travel to Sri Lanka and South Africa ‘A’ tours India‚” he said.

He said the programme‚ which was initially launched at the beginning of the 2017-18 season following a meeting between Proteas coach Ottis Gibson and the leading franchise and high performance coaches‚ was also aimed at widening the pool of elite fast bowlers in the country.

“One of the concerns for Ottis was the fast bowling stock in the country‚ as we had a few injuries at the time‚” said Barnes.

“It was then that we decided to develop this elite fast bowlers group to strengthen the depth of fast bowlers in the country and to help bowlers who are going through rehab.

“We have identified quite a number of bowlers‚ we have gone through some testing‚ particularly in April and last month‚ before bringing them here for this two-day camp.”

In the first year of its existence the programme has yielded some positive results by producing a quality pool of fast bowlers within in the system.

“I am quite excited‚ especially if you look at where we were in October last year with the national team and where we are now.

“We are taking a fantastic bowling lineup to Sri Lanka. There are also quite a lot of young and exciting fast bowlers in the ‘A’ side and I am also quite impressed with the bowlers coming out of the national academy side.

“So hopefully‚ they will be pushing for a spot in the national side soon‚” Barnes concluded.

Titans bowler Dala‚ who recently received his maiden ODI call-up for the Proteas’ tour to Sri Lanka‚ was one of the fast bowlers identified for the elite group last season.

“It’s all constituted towards improvement and it is a great initiative by CSA‚” Dala said.

“We had coaches fly in from all around the country‚ all working together to help us improve our game. It showed that last season‚ a lot of batters thought I was just a quick bowler without much variation.

“I surprised a lot of batsmen by incorporating that [variation] into my game. So this year‚ it’s just about improving those skills and making sure I am better than I was last season.”

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