Home Sport Cricket Eric Simon says Marco Jansen just needs to reset

Eric Simon says Marco Jansen just needs to reset


Before the India match, Jansen had been one of the standout bowlers at the World Cup with 16 wickets at an average of 20.06.

Marco Jansen of South Africa celebrates the wicket of India’s KL Rahul during their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India on Sunday. Picture: Abhjit Adya, Shutterstock (14182396dj)

Eric Simons joked that he wasn’t tall enough to put his arm around Marco Jansen’s shoulder after the mauling the young fast bowler suffered against the might of India in his last outing.

While Jansen’s chastening experience of conceding 94 runs in 9.4 overs was no joke – especially when Indian captain Rohit Sharma was having his way with the 2.06m tall fast bowler in the opening powerplay – Simons wanted to show that it was also not the end of the world.

The 61-year-old bowling coach has seen many youngsters overawed by the occasion, and playing in front of 70,000 passionate Indian supporters at one of the most eminent sporting theatres in the world – Eden Gardens in Kolkata – certainly was a pressure-filled affair, but he has also seen many return stronger for it.

“We’ve had a chat this morning, and the real sense about him was that he went away from himself and started concentrating on the opposition a little bit,” Simons explained on Wednesday.

“That sometimes happens in those pressure moments, when you are up against the quality of batters we were playing against. It was a great learning (experience) for him.

“I had actually said to the bowling group, to their frustration, I was hoping that we would have some tough situations – and we did. It was a great learning experience for him as the individual, but also the entire bowling group.

“It’s not that he’s now not capable of bowling the way he has done … we’ve obviously seen that. Now it’s a case of getting him back there.”

Before the India match, Jansen had been one of the standout bowlers at the World Cup with 16 wickets at an average of 20.06.

He has been particularly prolific with the new ball, where he has routinely picked up wickets in the powerplay to set up South Africa’s bowling innings. It’s for these reasons that Simons believes now is certainly not the time to throw the baby out with the bath water and begin tinkering technically with Jansen.

Instead, he will look to build his confidence ahead of the final league encounter against Afghanistan on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad (10.30am start), and more importantly, next week’s semi-final against Australia.

“It’s not a technical conversation. There is potential and performance,” Simons said. “And he’s bowled at a certain level, so when you see a performance that’s a little bit off, what’s the noise between the way you performed and the way you have performed?

“We have four points that have come out of our conversation, that if he does come under pressure again, that we address those things. None of them are technical.

“The hallmark of this campaign has been the honest conversations that we’ve had.”

Simons also ruled out the possibility of senior statesman Kagiso Rabada returning to his previous role of opening the bowling with the knockouts on the horizon, claiming the team is comfortable with the change-bowler role he has performed during this World Cup.

“What he is doing for us is particularly important,” Simons said. “The way he’s bowling … he is almost performing two roles for us. He can pull it back if it gets away from us, and if the opposition are under pressure, he can keep the pressure up.

“To have that experience coming in, in some respects the business part of that powerplay in many situations, is important.

“I don’t think we’re going to get carried away with changes due to the frustration of one particular powerplay. “We have been outstanding in the powerplay, so I think the role he plays is quite a good one.

“We’ve spoken from the start about a bowling unit that understands their roles, and the way they fit into those roles. We don’t want to over-analyse one performance.”

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