India in South Africa / News

India in South Africa 2006-07

de Villiers keen on coaching Indian bowlers

Cricinfo staff

November 21, 2006

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'They have to lift their game, be disciplined and give more respect to the bounce here' - Fanie de Villiers © Getty Images
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Fanie de Villiers, former South African fast bowler, stated his interest in coaching India's fast bowlers on their current tour of South Africa. "In the absence of a bowling coach, they need local help," de Villiers, who worked with the Indian bowlers in 2001, was quoted as saying in Deccan Herald, the Bangalore-based daily. "Without a doubt, they need somebody local like me to give them advice on how to bowl on these wickets, what the lengths should be like, things like that. I have done it in the past, and there is no reason why I shouldn't do it again.

"India's bowling has always been better than they thought in this country. I helped the bowlers a while back, I went to the nets and they had their lengths completely wrong. Their lengths here have to be different from what they bowl in India. They got driven quite a lot. They have to plan properly. They have to know the exact lengths they have to bowl. They need to use the crease better because of extra bounce.

"If they do their homework, they will be better. Irfan Pathan is a great player and [Zaheer] Khan is a good bowler. They must get their line and length right. I enjoy [watching] Sreesanth, and I am looking forward to enjoying the bowling of Pathan here. I am frustrated because I have always backed the Indians. I have seen what they can do in India and the sub-continent. Some of their players have been ranked very, very highly. But they have played nine Tests in South Africa and never won; since 1992, they have played 16 one-dayers and won just three. That's a bad record, not good at all.

"Each time India have come to South Africa, they have been disappointing. I don't know what it is to do with - planning, form, bounce - but they haven't fared as well as they should. Why does it boil down to conditions always? There are other teams who come from the sub-continent and fare well. Conditions are no more an excuse. It is history. They have to lift their game, be disciplined and give more respect to the bounce here. You can't just play on national memory. If India play on national memory, they are going to get themselves out.

But I am hopeful of India doing well. I personally believe coaching can play a really big role in a series in South Africa, and I am sure that Greg Chappell might take them to the next level."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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