Zondeki looks forward to leadership role
Monde Zondeki, whose last trip to India was when he replaced Charl Langeveldt in South Africa's Test squad in 2008, is back in the country and set to share the ball with his fellow Cape Cobras fast bowler. The format and stakes have changed but Zondeki, after a successful season with the Cobras, is looking to lead the attack and leave an impact this time around.
The Cobras only have four more days until they start their Champions League Twenty20 campaign against the hosts and IPL runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore, yet Zondeki isn't too worried about acclimatising. "I don't have any specific preparation, I just have to focus on the job at hand," he told Cricinfo. "I think about sticking to my plans and a score I want to restrict a team to and try to execute plans to achieve that."
The Cobras will be against a variety of quality sides, and in such a short span of time, the bowlers will have to adjust quickly. Zondeki is choosing to rely on his natural instincts. "I know what I'm getting into. You have to know the opposition, the kind of batsmen you will bowl to and the shots they will play. You have to use a variety of deliveries - the faster balls, the slower balls, the yorkers," Zondeki said. "I have to make my decisions according to what the batsman is doing. I practice all my deliveries and then decide what to use accordingly. You have to stay alert."
So is it about the change of pace too, as well as line and length? "Definitely. You know you only have four overs to bowl and that makes you want to run in fast, but that can be a bad thing depending on the situation. I mainly try and bowl stump to stump to cut out the width for the batsmen.
"It's hard to say [what good Twenty20 figures are in India] but as a senior and experienced bowler I have to put my hand up and put a decent spell in. It will be different here than in South Africa, given the conditions and the quality of the batsmen."
Zondeki is coming off a stellar 2008 season, in which he picked up five five-wicket hauls in his collection of 54 victims for the Cobras. Also a strong contributor for South Africa A, Zondeki was rewarded with call-ups in the national squad for the tours of India and England last year.
Zondeki and Langeveldt are integral cogs in the Cobras machine, and the only other bowler in the side to have played in India is Rory Kleinveldt, who was here in 2007 with the A team. For the likes of the young fast bowler Francois Plaatjies and other allrounders in the squad, Zondeki is something of a leader.
"I have played some international cricket and while I am not old I have some experience," he said. "I have been to India before and look to share whatever experience I have with the younger and less experienced bowlers. "
Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo