India might have lost the first two Tests of the three match series against South Africa, but a few players, especially the Indian fast bowlers have managed to impress quite a few former South African players.
One of them was former Proteas fast bowler Allan Donald. Donald, widely regarded as the fastest bowler of his era, was impressed by the Indian pace attack, especially by Jasprit Bumrah.
Donald said, “The guy who is making all the noise is Bumrah. I am impressed with him. He is quick, accurate and does things with the ball. I was surprised Bhuvneshwar, who is skillful, was left out of the eleven for the second Test.”
He weighed in, “In India, there is hardly any movement off the seam and bounce. So, when the Indian batsmen come here and play in a pitch like Newlands, the South African pacemen find out their footwork with fuller length deliveries and the off and the fourth stumps.”
Donald said India had competed in a “nice, aggressive fashion” in the series but added its batsmen had been “found out technically.”
He also recalled his duels with Indian little master Sachin Tendulkar and said, “Sachin not only had all the shots but left the ball so well which you need to do in South Africa. It was exciting bowling at him, he coped with the bounce here admirably. Don’t forget Sachin has five Test hundreds in South Africa.”
Talking about his successor Dale Steyn, Donald said, “I am a huge fan of Steyn. A complete fast bowler, among the very best. His numbers are staggering. You look at his strike rate and say ‘Wow.’ He had worked his backside off and looked very fit when he played at the Cape Town where many said South Africa fielded its best ever pace quartet. I hope his latest injury does not have a knock-down effect.”
Donald also praised the Man of the match Lungi Ngidi, saying, “I saw him bowl two years ago in a one-day match and immediately knew he had all the ingredients. He is still a puppy in the big league but has it in him to go all the way. Lungi not just has loads of ability, he is fast and bowls a heavy ball, but is also a very bright lad. He’s a stunning talent and a very mature, young bowler.”
Finally, Donald praised the new South Africa coach Ottis Gibson for his four pacemen theory.
He said, “A lot of credit goes to him. When I was playing we had three quicks and Jacques Kallis. But after the departure of Kallis, we became conservative. If we want our pacemen to go all out, then we need to have four of them.”