South Africa v Pakistan: Allan Donald says bowlers are key to rise
Coach Allan Donald says South Africa's bowling attack is relentless and the best he's ever seen.
Last Updated: 13/02/13 12:37pm
The Proteas, the world's top ranked-team, lead the three-Test series against Pakistan 1-0 after ripping out the tourists for just 49 in the first innings in Johannesburg a fortnight ago.
And it wasn't the first time in recent history that South Africa's attack has embarrassed the opposition. They skittled New Zealand for 45 last month while Australia managed just 47 last summer and, worryingly for Pakistan, both of those low scores were recorded at this week's venue, Cape Town.
As South Africa prepare to seal a sixth successive Test series win, bowling coach Donald said: "The current crop of bowlers is definitely the best I've seen.
"Collectively, when there is a change of bowler, the pressure never stops. The heat is relentless from both ends and the pace is relentless from both ends, and I think that is a big accolade for this group of bowlers.
"We have to make sure that we stay relentless in our approach, but it's fantastic to work with this group of players," said Donald, who took 330 Test wickets for South Africa.
However, Donald has warned his quicks they could be forced to graft in Cape Town after recent hot weather has baked the Newlands surface dry.
That could open the way for Pakistan's spinners, led by Saeed Ajmal, to take control as the match wears on and opener Alviro Petersen is wary of their threat.
"It's not quite a 49 all out pitch," he said. "If there is one ground where they can bounce back it's Newlands."
"Our bowling unit absolutely deserves all the hype they're getting at the moment but there is pressure on us batsmen too, because we must also perform."
The Proteas batsmen are likely to face a unique test with Pakistan likely to draft in giant quick Mohammad Irfan for his debut. At 7'1" Irfan would be the tallest player to play Test cricket.
"We were all surprised when Irfan wasn't selected for the first Test because he offers something different," Petersen said.
"We've done our homework on him and he's the type of bowler we've never faced in our lives.
"I'm sure he'll play in the second Test so we will have to prepare well for him and try and find a way or come up with a technique to play him."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident his side can bounce back, but rubbished suggestions they would reinforce their batting line-up after the opening-Test capitulation.
"Wherever you go in the world, six batsmen and a wicketkeeper have to take responsibility," he said.
"We are improving, in terms of batting and in terms of attitude. I am really confident that these guys can fight back. Whenever we've had tough times, we have been able to come out of it."