The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hansie was the best: Adams

Dhaka: Though the South African authorities are keen to wipe out the memories of the Hansie Cronje era and start afresh, somehow, he just can’t be forgotten. Wednesday it was the turn of comeback left-arm spinner Paul Adams to pay his tribute to the deceased skipper.

Terming the late Cronje as the ‘best’ South African captain he had played under, Adams said it was good learning experience for players who played under him.

“Guys who have played under him have learnt a lot,” Adams said.

Meanwhile, he is devising strategies to contain the Indian batsmen when the two sides meet in the triangular series match on Friday.

“All you have to do is to keep it simple. Bowl at the right areas and hope that the batsman makes a mistake.”

Despite the knowledge that the Indians are good players of spin, Adams sounded confident of coming out with flying colours against the World Cup finalists.

“A spinner needs a bit of confidence. It’s all a question of bowling according to the situation. I just try and stick to the basics,” said the bowler with a very unorthodox action.

Adams, who returned to the team after a long injury lay-off, replaced spinner Robin Peterson in the match against Bangladesh and finished with one for 42 off 10 overs.

Adams rated Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman in the world with “such an amazing range of shots” and it is impossible for any bowler to tie him down.

“It’s not easy to bowl to him because he hits the good balls to the boundary. You never know where to pitch the ball to him.”

Adams said despite the long break he had matured to handle the pressure at international level.

“Every spinner matures with age and learns with every match. I feel I am a much better bowler now and will keep improving if I get the opportunities,” he said.

The post-World Cup transition phase in South Africa has meant that the team has a relatively inexperienced bowling attack, barring Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, and Adams sees this as the biggest opportunity to establish himself as a regular member of the squad by picking up wickets.

“Every team goes through a transition phase. We have to all stick together and back each other at this stage.”

The 26-year-old felt the new captain Graeme Smith had the capability of leading the country’s resurgence and said having played with him in the state team will be a big help for him.

“Graeme is a positive character and has new ideas. He strongly believes that he can do the job for the country,” he said.

Adams, who missed the World Cup with a back injury said the bitter memories of the Cup is history. “I think playing at home put too much pressure on the team during the World Cup and it could not recover after the defeat in the very first match. When we did badly, panic buttons were pushed and a lot of negative things were being written. I think that affected the team,” he said.

Asked about his peculiar bowling style he said, he had no intentions of changing it.

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