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'Probably the quickest on the speed gun'
Part seven: Among the best bowlers Alec Stewart faced was Allan Donald, who had some memorable duels with English batsmen (00:00)
Producer: Ranjit Shinde
December 7, 2012
'Probably the quickest on the speed gun'December 7, 2012
Allan Donald is the only South African in my line-up here. Apologies to Shaun Pollock - you were close to getting in, but I went for [Glenn] McGrath ahead of you.
But Allan Donald was probably the quickest if he was on the speed gun, I would say. A bit like Brett Lee, the Australian - very, very quick through the air, but because of their actions you saw the ball all the way through from when they gathered to when they delivered, whereas other bowlers - I mentioned Wasim Akram earlier, he would hide the ball, he might bowl around the wicket and jump from behind the umpire and then bowl. That seemed even quicker. But with Donald, you saw the ball all the way. Still, have to try and play it.
Very aggressive quick bowler, a great competitor, a very proud South African.
We had some good duels. He knew that I like hooking. Many times that I have played against him. I remember Johannesburg in 1995-96, where he had three men out on the hook, one in front of square and two behind, all on the boundary, and I still tried to take him, which was probably not the most intelligent thing to do. But I enjoyed taking him on. I won some battles and lost some battles.
He's one of the few bowlers who actually hit me - in Port Elizabeth, on that tour. I went to pull him and he hit me in the visor. He followed through and nodded, and I nodded, straightened the visor and carried on. That's part and parcel of being an opening batsman and playing against quick bowling. But I really enjoyed that challenge of playing against him. Fierce competitor, but a good fellow off the field.
Allan Donald, in England, will be remembered for the duel he had with Michael Atherton at Trent Bridge in the 1998 series, which we went on to win.
We lost heavily at Lord's, drew at Edgbaston, then we went to Old Trafford, a game where I got a big hundred. But it was a battle against Donald there and England hung on right at the end. He bowled his heart out, he did. But we just secured the draw and then went on to win the last two Test matches.
But that little passage of play - Allan Donald against Michael Atherton at Trent Bridge, where Athers gloved it through to [Mark] Boucher and was given not out... the 25 minutes after that was as good a piece of international sport - not just cricket but international sport - that you'll ever wish to see, because you had two people at the top of their game, going toe to toe, not wanting to give an inch.
Donald has the advantage of being able to bowl at 95 miles an hour. Athers is one of the toughest cricketers you'll come up against. He had his bat in his hands and he didn't want to lose this little duel, and he didn't. But that, really, summed up for me what Allan Donald was all about, because not long after that Nasser [Hussain] nicked one that Boucher dropped, and you could see Donald crying out a huge yell, and he showed all his expressions and all the emotions. Yet at the end of the over, he then ran down to Mark Boucher and said, "Listen mate, don't worry, catch the next one."
And that to me summed up what Donald is all about.
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