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Last Updated:  Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 16:41 GMT

Out to silence critics
Allan Donald
By Allan Donald
South Africa fast bowler

I wanted to play against Kenya and it has not really been explained to me why I was left out.

If I was struggling I would understand but I've been bowling well in the nets between games.

The Kenya match was the kind of game where you get a chance to gain some rhythm and momentum, and hopefully a few wickets.

For some reason I had a shocker against the Windies.

But I feel in good nick and I'm going into the New Zealand game determined to prove people wrong, and silence the critics who believe I am over the hill.

I, along with the rest of the team, have taken perhaps the worst stick ever in the newspapers.

We were expecting it to a point after the loss to West Indies, especially with the tournament being in South Africa.

Allan Donald
I struggled against WI but want to get my World Cup back on track

But all we could do is beat Kenya and beat them well, and that is what we did.

I wouldn't say our match against the Black Caps on Sunday was make-or-break for South Africa, but for us it is the crucial match of the round.

New Zealand are a dangerous side playing very well and although we have a good record against them, they're unpredictable to the extreme.

We have spent a day studying videos of their batsmen's dismissals and their hitting areas, and we've worked hard on where to bowl to certain players.

Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns are especially big threats, Andre Adams has sprung up from nowhere and Chris Harris is still doing a job.

And it says a lot of their bowlers that they have managed without Cairns.

Shane Bond is bowling extremely well at the moment, and very quickly.

Rhodes blow

Of course we will have to gain a result without Jonty Rhodes, whose retirement has been a huge blow.

Jonty was brilliant both on and off the field.

It will take two or three guys to make up for his bubbliness and it is very sad to lose him.

We gave him a good send off on Friday and of course he was upset - he has always played with his heart.

I'm in a positive frame of mind and ready to prove people wrong

But we have to look forward now.

Graeme Smith is a very able back-up and a lot of people would have picked him in the squad in the first place.

We will be playing for Jonty now and hopefully he can still be part of a winning team.

Our key problem so far has been the way we back up the opening bowlers.

Traditionally, the first four bowlers have been fundamental to our success - you could expect myself and Jacques Kallis to bowl our first six overs for about 18 and get the odd wicket.

So far, though, Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock have done some good work but Jacques and I haven't fired.

But I'm in a positive frame of mind and ready to prove people wrong against the Kiwis.

Links to more South Africa stories


Windies wake-up call
11 Feb 03 |  South Africa
Time to make amends
06 Feb 03 |  South Africa

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