Gogga needs a change of scenery (21 December 1998)

21 December 1998

Gogga needs a change of scenery

Trevor Chesterfield

Pietermaritzburg - Young and energetic Paul Adams is waiting for the right moves to get his career moving again, which may mean a shift in direction from Newlands to a venue perhaps more appreciative of the left-arm wrist spinner.

In the almost three years since he made his test debut at St George's Park against England, the youngest player to win a South African test cap has been subjected to a variety of comment about his bowling action and not a lot of it has been easy to handle.

But this season the criticism has been more vocal than helpful and there was a view among some critics that he owed his place in the side to "political pressure" as his form has not been worthy of a bowler of his abilities. An interesting argument based on ignorance and the supposition those in Cape Town are "quite comfortable" because he still has time to run on his contract.

On an unhelpful surface and fighting for a place in the Province side with Claude Henderson, who is left-arm orthodox, who is being preferred, looking elsewhere to ply his art might not be too far removed for the tiny pocket battleship.

Now Gogga, turning 22 in the New Year, has given a hint of revival in form with a fine spell of bowling for South Africa A on the third morning of their four-day game against the West Indians. While a spell of 8-1-29-2 may not seem great by Adams standards, the young man has come through a wall of criticism about his form and looked more like his old self. Variation, flight, loop and turn: it was all there as the young man written off last week as a has been shows signs of emerging from a period where pressure may have created some self-doubt.

At least Nic Pothas, burdened with the captaincy as well as the wicketkeeping roles in this game, showed his appreciation of Adams' rip, turn and drift. He seemed to revive the left-arm wrist-spinner's confidence in working out a batsman. First Nixon McLean was trapped in front while Franklyn Rose went for the big hit over long-on only to find Ashwell Prince waiting to pouch a comfortable catch.

Adams has been reatined in the South African squad for the third test at Kingsmead starting on Saturday. But his longer-term future is perhaps of more interest. Newlands is no longer as attractive as it was three seasons ago when he broke into the system through his exciting ability as much as his unorthodox action.

Source:: Trevor Chesterfield, Cricket Writer, Pretoria News