Shaun Pollock~~s role in question, says Donald

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg:Former South African fast bowler Allan Donald is not sure whether Shaun Pollock should open the attack any more after the emergence of Dale Steyn as an exciting new-ball bowler.

Pollock did not take the new ball against the recent home series against New Zealand and Makhya Ntini and Steyn shared 36 wickets between them to lead South Africa to a comprehensive 2-0 series win against the visitors.

''Maybe it was a case of bringing him (Steyn) in too soon against England last season, but against New Zealand Dale Steyn has shown us what he can do. For the first time South Africa have two bowlers who can strike at 140 kmph-plus,'' Donald told the Supersport website.

The White Lightning said, ''Shaun Pollock's role is the question. There are all sorts of rumours going around -- should he play Test cricket, should they keep him in the squad even though he isn't playing every match, should they take him to Sri Lanka, should they take him to the World Cup?'' Pollock missed one Test through injury and only picked up five wickets in the two that he played against New Zealand.

Though he was as miserly as ever, and more economical than both Ntini and Steyn, his strike rate (48 balls per wicket) was considerably lower than both.

The performance is part of a recent pattern that has sparked debate about his role. In his last 20 Tests, the former captain has taken 64 wickets at over 33 and a strike rate as high as 74.5.

He hasn't taken a single five-wicket innings haul or ten-wicket match haul.

Donald admitted it is a difficult situation, though he hinted that all hope was not lost just yet. ''Those are tough questions.

It is a serious issue, and it will become more serious as the months roll on. We've seen the selectors make a positive move with the new ball, and Shaun has fitted in beautifully.''

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