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Donald struck by critics lightning, Pollock to defence

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Potchefstroom: South African paceman Allan Donald suffered a huge dent in his World Cup ambitions on Wednesday when he was dropped from the team to face Kenya. And just as he was licking his wounds and in need of a degree of comfort, he found himself having his powers questioned by former teammates. Daryll Cullinan said the veteran fast bowler, nicknamed 'White Lightning', now lacked pace. "He no longer possesses the pace that kept all batsmen honest. Added to this, he is a touch too gun-barrel straight," wrote Cullinan in Wednesday's 'Business Day' newspaper.

Donald, 36, failed to take a wicket during an expensive nine-over spell that yielded 54 runs in South Africa's tournament opening defeat by the West Indies at Newlands on Sunday. As a result, he was omitted from the hosts' second Group 'B' match against minnows Kenya on Wednesday. Cullinan, who played alongside Donald at the 1999 World Cup in England, said that, unlike other leading quicks, the South Africa star did not disguise his deliveries sufficiently.

"Of all the great fast bowlers Allan Donald in his run-up and 'gather' at the wicket shows you the ball beautifully," Cullinan said. "It is no secret now that after Sunday's game, batsmen will be targeting him. On a good batting wicket, he will be under pressure." Another former teammate, Fanie de Villiers also questioned Donald's place in the team. De Villiers, who opened the bowling with Donald in the 1990s, wrote in a newspaper column that the veteran of four World Cups should be replaced by Andrew Hall.

De Villiers feels that the all-rounder Hall offers more variation and pace than Donald and that had Hall played in the opening match at Cape Town on Sunday, South Africa would have beaten the West Indies. However, skipper Shaun Pollock leapt to Donald's defence. "I find it very strange that Fanie says something like that," Pollock told the SAPA news agency. "You can't just throw someone out after you've picked the squad of 15. Allan's disappointed but he'll be back."

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