Sport / Cricket

Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
3 minute read
4 Nov 2021
10:35 am

Donald’s advice for the Proteas: ‘Don’t respect England too much’

Ken Borland

"The most important thing is that they don’t take a backward step," said the former bowler ahead of the crunch T20 World Cup game.

Former South African bowling great Allan Donald says the Proteas must take no backward step to England when the team's meet in a big T20 World Cup game on Saturday. Picture: Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images/Getty Images

England are the undisputed No 1 side at the T20 World Cup, but it is vital that the Proteas do not respect them too much when they meet in their vital match in Sharjah on Saturday, according to Allan Donald, the Free State Knights coach and former South African pace ace.

Despite South Africa’s recent fine form in T20 cricket, they have lost their last five games against England and only scraped to victory by one run courtesy of an amazing final over by Lungi Ngidi in the sixth match.

In fact, in their last 10 meetings, the Proteas have won just twice, the other win being by three runs at Taunton in 2017.

But Donald, one of the most fiery and greatest fast bowlers the game has seen, said on Wednesday that the first thing South Africa have to bring on Saturday is attitude.

“England are the No 1 side, they are a serious cricket team that has every base covered,” Donald told The Citizen. “The Proteas are going to have to play out of their boots and show a lot of courage.

“They need to be really aggressive, especially with the ball, and Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi are two damn good spinners who will definitely come into it as well.

“The bowlers are going to have to use a lot of pace-off deliveries and use a lot of game-smarts. They’re going to have to bowl with their heads and their match-ups need to be spot-on.

“But the most important thing is that they don’t take a backward step, they must not respect England too much. If they play with that same passion they showed when they beat Sri Lanka, then they could turn them over. It’s definitely possible if they don’t respect England too much.”

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It has been an extremely challenging year for the Proteas, with tough results against Pakistan and then bubbles in the West Indies, Ireland, Sri Lanka and now the UAE to negotiate; never mind all the off-field dramas of SJN revelations and Board directives. They were not given much chance of contending at this World Cup, but they are still in the running and they have proven their tenacity.

“They have scrapped away. They are in a bloody tough group but they have found something, as a team they are a bunch of scrappers. If they can show the same courage and passion then it won’t matter how much England bring,” said Donald.

“England are going to play like favourites, but the Proteas have got a bit to work with and they’ll need to dig deep. But the thing about 20/20 cricket is that you’re never out of the game.

“The passion I saw after they beat Sri Lanka, the way David Miller and KG Rabada celebrated, you could see what it meant to the team. They have found a way and gained some self-belief, and they can take that positivity and the Bangladesh win into the England game.”