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Cricket | South Africa

Paul Adams © Gallo Images

No-balls all about attitude - Gogga

South Africa conceded an astonishing 23 no-balls in just one innings in the recently concluded drawn first test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane, a performance that former Protea spinner Paul Adams described as “embarrassing”.

“It is the first time I have seen so many no-balls bowled by a South African bowling attack,” Adams told supersport.com on Wednesday.

“Often it is an attitude of how you practise and I am sure that they will rectify it. It is embarrassing for a squad to be doing that, especially a South African attack," he added.

There was advance warning of the no-ball problem as the Proteas conceded 12 no-balls in 135 overs in the first innings of the warm-up game against Australia ‘A’.

Vernon Philander, who has made a remarkable start to his test career, has been brought down to earth a touch on this tour as he has yet to take a wicket in two matches. He conceded seven no-balls in the warm-up match and followed up that performance with another eight in the first test.

"They (South Africa) were leaking no-balls in the warm-up match and they seemed to carry that into the test. It's important that they address it but it is something that they can control," Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras head coach Adams said.

"They (South Africa) pride themselves on discipline and they are one of the best teams in the world and I am sure they will work to rectify it before the next test starts," he added.

South Africa did raise a few eyebrows by leaving leg-spinner Imran Tahir out of the XI that played in the first test with debutant seamer Rory Kleinveldt coming into the team.

Part-time off-spinner JP Duminy was tasked with fulfilling the spinner’s role but he was ruled out of the match after the first day after picking up an injury during training.

"It's a pity that JP tore his Achilles. They (South Africa) went with an off-spinner because of all the left-handers in the Australian side, but I feel with JP out, Tahir will probably come in (in the next test)," said Adams.

Kleinveldt did not enjoy the best of introductions to test cricket, returning figures of 0-97 off 21 overs in Australia’s first innings but Adams was confident that Kleinveldt would bounce back strongly.

"Rory did struggle in his first test with a couple of catches going down off his bowling. He looked quite nervous, but that's test cricket for you, especially up against the Aussies in their backyard.

"But he'll turn it around, he's done it locally in the domestic scene and he has Vern (Philander) there. They have played a lot together and he will settle in."

The first test produced something of a run glut with 1 181 runs scored for the loss of only 19 wickets. Adams hinted at the possibility of another run fest in the second test in Adelaide, due to start on November 22..

“The Adelaide pitch is normally a good surface for batsmen. I don't see South Africa going for an all-seam attack but it depends on the type of balance they want."

Adams is right too as in the last two years both England and Australia have posted innings scores in excess of 600.

In the last ten test matches at the ground, dating back to 2001, the trend has been that the team batting second has won on six occasions with only two draws.


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