6:24 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

World Cup: South Africa use Kirsten and Hussey experience to plot India’s downfall

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The Indian cricket team sweated out at the nets today ahead of its Sunday’s World Cup clash against South Africa, who are drawing on the deep insight of Gary Kirsten, India’s former coach, to prepare for the tie.
Kirsten, who was India’s coach from 2008 to 2011, has been roped in as a consultant for the World Cup along with former Australian batsman Michael Hussey and pace legend Allan Donald.
The trio has a combined experience worth 26,845 runs and 602 wickets at the international level.
The runs are what Kirsten and Hussey have scored at the international level across formats, while the wickets are Donald’s collection during his 12 years in international cricket.The three were seen keeping a hawk eye on the proceedings during South African team’s training session at the St Kilda’s Oval Junction ground.
The Indians, on the other hand, had a strenuous session at the same ground after a couple of days’ rest following their morale-boosting victory over arch-rivals Pakistan.
However, doubts over Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness continue to be a concern for the team as the seamer looked far from convincing during the nets.
Bhuvneshwar, who had suffered an ankle injury before the start of the Test series against Australia and only played the last Test in Sydney where he bowled way below his best, looked out of sorts and unfit today.
Meanwhile, Hussey, who would again be playing in the eighth edition of IPL for Chennai Super Kings, was keeping a close eye on the South African batsmen, especially the likes of JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock as they were playing the spinners at the nets.
A couple of left-arm spinners were seen bowling as Duminy and De Kock, along with Hashim Amla when they were batting in the nets.
One of the net bowlers of Indian origin was asked if there was any specific instruction from the coaches, he smiled and said, “I have been told to try and bowl exactly what Ravindra Jadeja bowls”.
Hussey was later seen having a long chat with Duminy as he was doing some shadows to show him a few particular shots of spinners.
Hussey has been roped in as a consultant, specifically for the World Cup but he won’t be travelling with AB de Villiers and Co after the India match: “It’s been a nice experience so far. But I won’t be travelling with the team after this match. I am with them for this match,” Hussey told PTI.
India’s best ever national coach, Kirsten was overseeing the proceedings and also giving his customary throwdowns, while Donald was keeping an eye on the bowlers with a specific drill in mind.
Kirsten, in fact, arrived late yesterday after having attended the IPL auctions in Bangalore for Delhi Daredevils, a day before.
Three different sets of cones were placed on three different lengths for the South African pacers. While Morne Morkel was told to hit the short of length area, Wayne Parnell was instructed to bowl a bit on the fuller side. Morkel was occasionally also instructed to bowl at yorker length just at the base of the stumps.

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