Kleinveldt bowled 33 no-balls during his first two Test matches
South Africa pace bowler Rory Kleinveldt has announced that he is desperate to regain his spot on the national team’s Test roster after having a less than impressive debut series against Australia.
Kleinveldt’s inclusion in the team for the first Test at Brisbane came as a shock to everybody since most cricket pundits thought that the Proteas would select Imran Tahir as their main spinner, but the team management decided to go with Kleinveldt at the last moment since the pitch at Brisbane was more suited for pace bowlers.
However, what ensued throughout the Test match was beyond anybody as Kleinveldt’s bowling was all over the place, which resulted in him giving away 97 runs from 21 overs at an economy rate of 4.61.
But, to add to the disappointment of not picking up a single wicket, Kleinveldt also bowled an unbelievable 12 no-balls and one wide along with that.
“Those first three overs were tough for me. I didn’t execute my plans on the day. Once the Test match wore on, I think I got a little better,” Kleinveldt said. “Obviously, I struggled a bit with the no-balls and [that’s] something I’ve got to work on.”
“There is a little bit of a ridge as you came up to the wicket but I don’t know if that was the reason for the no-balls, it was not really acceptable on anyone’s part. I think if we had an opportunity to bowl in the middle before the game, maybe we could have worked something out but it’s pretty tough to work something out during the game.”
With 33 no-balls being bowled in total throughout the entire first Test by both teams, Australia captain Michael Clarke noted that they could have been caused by the pitch being raised slightly towards the end of the run-up.
Kleinveldt also admitted that he and the entire team had misread the conditions at Brisbane.
“We thought there was going to be a bit of pace and bounce in the Gabba wicket. We thought the wicket will [move] around and four seamers would be the way to go,” Kleinveldt added.
The pace debutant also compared the bounce he was getting from the pitch at Brisbane to that of a “tennis ball”, which he stated was extremely similar to the pitch at Newlands in Cape Town.
“I don’t think we hit our lengths consistently in this game,” Kleinveldt said. “One of the two bowlers would bowl well and the other bowler would leak some runs. That’s one of the things we’ll have to make sure we get right.”
Captain Clarke had a dream series against the South Africans, scoring two outstanding double hundreds and Kleinveldt revealed that bowling to a man of his stature was extremely “tough”.
Kleinveldt also noted that one lesson the team should take away from the series is the need to have multiple back up plans in case things go downhill at an alarming rate.
“We’ll sit down and look at the game and come up with some plans. Obviously we’ll need to think out of the box and have a plan B and a plan C, if plan A doesn’t work,” Kleinveldt added.
After his horrendous performance at Brisbane, many cricket pundits believed that South Africa would drop Kleinveldt and include Imran Tahir for the second Test at Adelaide, but things didn’t go to plan as Kleinveldt was ushered onto the field at the last possible moment after fellow pace bowler Vernon Philander was ruled out with back spasms.
Kleinveldt continued to struggle throughout the second Test, picking up just four wickets throughout the match, while also stepping over the line 11 times, with six no-balls coming in the first innings and five in the second.
Despite his struggles against Australia, Kleinveldt believes his future remains bright and is confident that he will be selected for the next Test series, which take place at home against Pakistan in February.
“This match was tough and I wish I could have done a little bit better but obviously that’s how it went. I’ve just got to pick myself up and prepare well for the next Test match, and hopefully that will go better,” Kleinveldt said.