South Africa’s bowlers are stepping up their preparation ahead of their bumper tour of India starting in less than two weeks. The Gauteng-based bowlers on Tuesday took part in a thorough session with Proteas bowling coach, Charl Langeveldt, with the aim of increasing their workloads and mapping out expectations and game plans ahead of the 72-day tour which starts with the first match in Dharamshala on October 2. Langeveldt says: ‘The T20’s are the most important at the moment. It’s a World Cup year and bowling in India is a different mind-set. There will be three T20 matches so I want them (bowlers) to be ready when we hit India. We only have one warm-up match and two practices then we are in the game. I feel that we have to start building it up so we don’t try to overload ourselves by the time we get to India.’
Langeveldt says he has focused more on changing the mind-set and awareness for the expected conditions, along with some technical and skills-specific aspects which he doesn’t normally have time to focus on during the tour. While it is difficult to simulate the pressured environment and the conditions to be expected on the sub-continent, he has tried to create certain situations for the players to respond to. He says: ‘Some of the guys have been to India and played IPL so they know what to expect. All I can do is to try and put them under pressure by asking them to maybe bowl four balls in the same area and change it up with a slower ball or yorker. It is difficult but we have to do the best that we can in these circumstances.’
The selected squad to India features an exciting group of fast bowlers who will be pushing for places across all three formats, an element which excites Langeveldt and is a good indication of the healthy fast-bowling resources at hand. Langeveldt says: ‘I think it’s already happening. It’s a good thing, it’s what we want. You want a battery of bowlers who are competing amongst each other. If you have guys competing for the same spot everyone will lift their game, it’s important that we have competition.’ The Proteas depart for India on Saturday, 26 September.