New Zealand news January 20, 2011

'I've got to try and find a way to inspire' - Allan Donald

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former South Africa fast bowler Allan Donald, who was appointed New Zealand's bowling coach on Monday, has said that he hopes to instill aggression in the side's bowlers.

"This is an opportunity I have been waiting for, and I know I'm coming into a side which has had a few problems in one-day cricket but I feel I can help with the bowlers," Donald said. "The big thing I always focus on is attitude and intensity and that all started at the training ground."

New Zealand have not won a Test since February 2010 when they defeated Bangladesh, but have suffered from bigger setbacks in the one-day format in which they are on a 11-match losing streak. The lack of incisiveness in the bowling, particularly since the retirement of Shane Bond, has been one of their worries. The 44-year-old Donald insisted that his focus would be to get the bowling unit to punch above its collective weight.

"You can't expect miracles and we need to discuss this as a bowling group, I need to find out from them about what their thoughts are and what they're lacking, where we can improve," Donald said. "But I've got to try and find a way to inspire. I grew up in a South African set-up where I knew what I was going to get from the guy at the other end, and I knew what I was going to get from the bowling group as a collective unit.

"I've played against New Zealand a lot. I felt you could pick out the individuals within the bowling unit who were going to make a difference, guys like Dion Nash and Chris Cairns, for instance. But not collectively, and I think that's what we need to bring to the table as a collective unit, the intensity and the attitude. You can work with someone who's got a dodgy action or struggling, or injury prevention. If the fitness and strength is good then the mental aspect will fall into it."

Donald was also keen to bring about a difference in the way the bowlers trained. "You're working with players who know and understand their actions and their roles in the team, so you're not going to come in and over-coach things, but the big thing I always focus on is attitude and intensity, and that starts at the training ground," he said. "I learned a lot from Eddie Barlow and he kicked my butt when I was practising wrong. So not only the skills, but that's the inspiration I think these boys need now."

Donald was confident that he would have a rich line of talent to work with. "I switched the TV on the other day and I saw this kid Adam Milne run in at 150kmh, so there are some bright youngsters coming through the ranks. I like Tim Southee, I watched him the last three days [of the Wellington Test] and the way he operated. I think you need a guy who has got a bit of white-line fever. That aggression is good and that's the kind of attitude that I'm talking about as a collective unit that we need to instill.

"I know it's not in everybody's culture and makeup to be that aggressive but I think that the team needs to understand how it lifts people and the buzz it creates."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • P Subramani on January 22, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    I quite agree with Sehwagolgist about the worth of having Eric Simmons as the bowling coach for India after Prasad resigned. His appointment was sudden and very secretive. So no one really got to know anything about his competence. One can only see this in the inconsistency of both Ishant and Sreesanth. On occasions they bowl very well but then they go back. I feel it may have something to do about communication. Ishant is more comfortable speaking Hindi when Simmons may be teaching him in English with an Africaans accent. Waqar Younis has been very effective with the Pakistani bowlers probably because of that. India needs someone like Fanie De viliers who was a fine bowler and will fit in with the Indians because of the kind of person he is. Playful yet uncompromising.He will also not hold back for partisan considerations. It is high time the BCCI gave more attention to regular cricket matters than to the IPL and fighting Lalit Modi.

  • Nadeem on January 22, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    Go ahead donald. Havefun

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    It sounds like he will try to turn southee into our main strike bowler, will help Milne out with his transition into International Cricket, perhaps Get Martin over that (well he will anyway) 200 wicket haul in Tests - I loved it how last year I tore India into 5-15 I think it was? This will be good so long as NZ can get 3-5 bowlers profit from his experience to last them in the long run.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    Indian bowling problems are more to do with a dominant batting culture over and above bowling as minus Kapil Dev there have been few hero's to follow. Otherwise there isnt much difference between indian pitches or Pakistani ones. The converse can be said for Pakistan where the culture and the big hero's have been bowlers hence youngsters want to be an imran, akram or younis.

    Rather than coaches a good idea would be to send potential seamers for training abroad i.e South Africa, West Indies or Pakistan thus allowing opportunities to stop this art from dying.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    The problem donald will have is that apart from milnes he doesnt really have anybody worth being called a pacer. In the recent test series against Pakistan the NZ bowling attack was shown to be a neutered one now that Bond has retired. So for donald to instill an agressive fast bowlers attitude in medium pacers at best will have little positive effect.

    Yes Waqar Younis has had great effect on Gul, Aamer and maybe even on Akhtar as he has finally reduced his run up. But all 3 can be over 140kph which is the main thing.

    The biggest problem for world cricket is there isnt much by way of resources in terms of fast bowling. With Steyn and Aamer the 2 stand out fast bowlers and with Aamer most likely going to be sidelined Steyn will be alone. Tait is someone with huge potential but again is someone who is restricting himself to limited overs cricket and Lee is just returning from another injury.

  • Moha on January 21, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    Good fast bowler is not a automatic choice for bowling coach. Some great fast bowlers have natural talents such as Wasim, Donald, Kapil, etc.. Some of them has natural talent plus their own techniques such as Waqar, McGrath. People Like Waqar can be a bowling coach because they have developed something from the techniques. Wasim, Donal and Kapil can coach but they won't be able to give everything they use to have.

  • Tiger on January 21, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    Allan Donald would have been an Ideal candidate as a bowling coach for India and would have done wonders to this bowling unit! God knows what the Gary Kirsten saw in Eric Simons (a discard from other teams as a coach) to appoint him as a bowling coach! he has destroyed Ishant as a bowler and well as for Sreesanth is concerned Dhoni and his gang is to be blamed as he was the only aggressive bowler in the team!

  • Faisal Mashood on January 21, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    I've got to question this great bowler being bowling coach thing... it very rarely works, actually the only times I have see was Umar Gul in 07 and Mohammad Aamer finding the ability to swing it both ways this year, both courtesy Waqar Younis, apart from that I don't think it has ever worked. To produce good pacers you need to set up academies in domestic cricket and club cricket, bringing in a great bowler to try and mold inferior NZ international pace bowlers into good ones is going to achieve nothing. Nice pic BTW

  • Tom on January 21, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    I hope Mills comes good again, he is brillinat in form.

  • Steve on January 20, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Yes, Donald's coaching will greatly benefit NZ fast bowling unit. Unfortunate that he chose to leave Zim cricket so soon after being appointed coach, bec they needed him more to guide them through until they got Test status.

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