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Thread: Why does South Africa never produce any good spinners?

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Why does South Africa never produce any good spinners?

    Well why not?

    I know about the SA Test pitches, but what are they like at FC level? Similar to the Test ones? Perhaps captaincy at club level and FC level and if they are used in a defensive/negative role and if they start to bowl in attacking manner and give it some air they could end up being carted and therefore the captain loses confidence and takes them and hardly bowls. Of course I could be completely wrong so if Gough or Hingston want to correct me I won't be offended.

    I ask after reading that Graeme Smith said they need to produce a top quality spinner to win a WC.
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    From what I've read from the likes of Goughy here, a lot of it has to do with ignorance at lower levels in terms of selection.
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    International Captain luffy's Avatar
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    I'd say pitches, but i don't know much about South African FC matches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luffy View Post
    I'd say pitches, but i don't know much about South African FC matches.
    Quite a few of the wickets in SA are spin conducive (for example Newlands, Cape Town) and Boje, Robbie P, Paul Harris et cetera usually find themselves amongst the leading wicket takers in SuperSport.

    I do not know about coaching or lower level ignorance other than that the majority of coaches do not know or understand enough about spin bowling. However, there is also the factor that the majority of spinners in South Africa are failed seamers and there is not that natural aptitude (and indeed encouragement) towards their craft.

    I remember when I played some pubescent cricket in Natal and the only guys who bowled ‘slow’ were the ones who could not do anything else and it was there last 'shot'.


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    Could S Hughes have (unintentionally) the answer? He wrote in one of his books that when he played for Northern Transvaaal threr were plenty of seam bowlers and batsmen but not spimmers because "spin is for wimps". If that is still the attitude no wonder they don't produce any - and the fact that others have said the spinners they DO have were seamers first backs that up - because obviously that is what they wanted to do first and they probably turned to spin because their seam bowling wasn't good enough. btw, is Johan Botha still in the doghouse over his action?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Well why not?

    I know about the SA Test pitches, but what are they like at FC level? Similar to the Test ones? Perhaps captaincy at club level and FC level and if they are used in a defensive/negative role and if they start to bowl in attacking manner and give it some air they could end up being carted and therefore the captain loses confidence and takes them and hardly bowls. Of course I could be completely wrong so if Gough or Hingston want to correct me I won't be offended.

    I ask after reading that Graeme Smith said they need to produce a top quality spinner to win a WC.
    For more or less the same reasons why India doesnt produce quality FAST bowlers.

    The fact that Smith thinks a spinner is needed just to win the next World Cup and not the next BIG test series shows another problem. Great spinners will come out of the five day game. If South Africa thinks they dont need good spinners for test matches they can stop dreaming about having a world class spinner coming to help them lift the world cup.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    As I have said elsewhere, and if I can be bothered Ill provide a link to a more full explanation, SA cricket at the lower levels is dominated by spinners and many tracks favour them.

    The problem is when they go to the pros at the Franchise level where the coaches and culture isnt conducive to bringing the talent on.

    The talent is there it just needs to be honed.

    The funny thing is that the bigger worry in SA cricket is the lack of fast bowlers coming through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    As I have said elsewhere, and if I can be bothered Ill provide a link to a more full explanation, SA cricket at the lower levels is dominated by spinners and many tracks favour them.

    The problem is when they go to the pros at the Franchise level where the coaches and culture isnt conducive to bringing the talent on.

    The talent is there it just needs to be honed.

    The funny thing is that the bigger worry in SA cricket is the lack of fast bowlers coming through.
    Very interesting indeed. Had no clue that such was the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poker Boy View Post
    Could S Hughes have (unintentionally) the answer? He wrote in one of his books that when he played for Northern Transvaaal threr were plenty of seam bowlers and batsmen but not spimmers because "spin is for wimps". If that is still the attitude no wonder they don't produce any - and the fact that others have said the spinners they DO have were seamers first backs that up - because obviously that is what they wanted to do first and they probably turned to spin because their seam bowling wasn't good enough. btw, is Johan Botha still in the doghouse over his action?
    I'd suspect that that is the case for a lot of players though - the natural inclination for most young guys is to try and bowl as fast as you can, and to try and hit the ball as far as you can. At some stage through junior cricket people decide to give spinning a go after realising that they aren't going to be the next Lillee, Donald, what have you, just like they decide to work on their technique and defence after realising they aren't Viv Richards and can't just rely on natural hand-eye coordination (not that that's what Viv did, but you know what I mean).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    I'd suspect that that is the case for a lot of players though - the natural inclination for most young guys is to try and bowl as fast as you can, and to try and hit the ball as far as you can. At some stage through junior cricket people decide to give spinning a go after realising that they aren't going to be the next Lillee, Donald, what have you, just like they decide to work on their technique and defence after realising they aren't Viv Richards and can't just rely on natural hand-eye coordination (not that that's what Viv did, but you know what I mean).
    But a lack of role models has a lot to do with that. In India one just had to visit any school, college or club nets in the seventies and eighties to see more spinners than fatser bowlers at practice. They all wanted to emulate the Bedis, Prasannas, Chandras, Venkats, Doshis etc.

    Now you see so many medium pacers, many of them left handed.

    It is not a chance that so many of the Indians playing for other countries have been spinners (of whatever level of competence).

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Good point. There weren't many kids wanting to be leg-spinners in Australia until Warne burst onto the scene. Now my kid cousins practice their leg-breaks and talk about learning wrong-uns and flippers because they want to be like Warney...



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    That's not true, Boje was great!
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    Pat Symcox was a champ, so too was John Traicos if not for arpitied.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy #4 View Post
    That's not true, Boje was great!
    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    Pat Symcox was a champ, so too was John Traicos if not for arpitied.
    Both Boje and Symcox were serviceable at best. Symcox's personality made him seem like he was a bigger part of the team than his performance alone merited - a spin-bowling equivalent of Nixon to a degree.

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