Reverse swing to be equally important as spin: Donald

Chennai, Feb 17 (PTI) The sub-continental pitches are thehappy hunting ground for the spinners but reverse swing willalso play an equally important role in the Cricket World Cupstarting on Saturday, New Zealand bowling coach Allan Donaldsaid today.

"We always talked about the ball has to swing. It''s notgoing to do it off the wicket and the ball has to swing.

That''s where reverse swing is a massive thing and a huge keyfor me in this World Cup. That''s where games are going to bewon and lost," Donald told reporters at a press conferencehere.

"As we go along, bowlers should be able to reverse theball at the end like doing it both over and round the wickets.

These (Kiwi bowlers) guys are still learning it we are tryingto do it as quickly as we can. But in crucial games like this,India have shown us last night if you are slightly off themark and you are going to get punished like what Dhoni did,"said the former South African fast bowler.

Donald acknowledged that Indian spinners were in greattouch in their two World Cup warm-up games and batsmen ofother countries will have to find ways to counter them.

"Harbhajan Singh and other Indian spinners bowled well inthe warm-up games. That''s where India probably going to havean upper hand over a a lot of people. A lot of teams must havewatched their game against Australia and us. They will have tofind a way of conquering the spinners," he said ahead of NewZealand''s World Cup match against Kenya on Sunday.

"But whether they will play three seamers, I don''t know.

I don''t think they will do so. May be they will go with thethree spinners option. We will have to see," he said.

"Obviously Zaheer Khan did not play last night. He is aclass act with S Sreesanth. Interesting to see, if they aregoing to go in with Ashish Nehra. Or they are going to playtwo or three spinners. That''s where I think India is going tostrategise well. As soon as they got over the new ball lastnight which we targeted heavily, the spinners came on."

Asked to comment on Indian batting yesterday in their117-run win over New Zealand, Donald said, "It was brilliantbatting. Dhoni was exceptional last night. Let us give himthat credit. Raina supported him well. Dhoni on his day islike that is almost unstoppable when he is in that mood. Iwill be the first one to say we did not execute well."

On the mental preparations to be successful on thesub-continental pitches, Donald said, "It is going to be hotin all three countries where the matches are scheduled. Yougot to be fit and strong. Mentally, that is where the game ispretty much won. Obviously you need to be up with yours skillsto be able to execute that." PTI VS RE PDS

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