TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
MITCHELL Starc, whose 150 kilometres-an-hour deliveries will spearhead Australia’s attack in next week’s first test against SA at the WACA, doesn’t scare Neil McKenzie.
Neither do any of the home side’s other bowlers, SA’s batting coach told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’s the fear factor,” McKenzie said. “It’s more that most of the guys are worried about losing their wicket, not the fear factor.
“That is how it probably should be.”
Easy for McKenzie to say considering he will be safely out of harm’s way when Starc and company are taking aim at the South Africans.
Not that McKenzie disrespected the home side’s attack.
“The bowlers are still quality, can still get you out and can still win test matches for their country, so they have still got to respect whoever is out there,” he said.
“You don’t have to look too far past most of the guys’ stats.
“I know they have five or six seamers up for selection, and they’re all quality seamers.
“And behind the stumps there is still enough aggression.”
SA will have their last match practice before the test series, which starts next Thursday, in a two-day game against a South Australia XI in Glenelg, near Adelaide, that starts on Thursday.
The visitors’ first tour match was a day/night game using the pink ball against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide at the weekend.
Thursday’s match will mark a return to tradition, not least because the first two tests will not be played under lights.
“Now it’s just back to red ball, getting the techniques organised, getting the minds right,” McKenzie said.
“Everyone is in a good mental state, everyone has had a good run at this stage.
“The coaches are happy with where we are.”
One face in the South Australia squad will be familiar to the South Africans.
Harry Nielsen, the South Australia under-23 wicketkeeper played for SA at the weekend in the absence of Quinton de Kock, who had a viral infection, has crossed the dressingroom floor again.