Oz engaged in 'ball tampering' during training to improve 'reverse swing' before Cape Town Test
Australian cricketers had reportedly engaged in 'ball tampering' at training for the third Test in a bid to seek rapid improvement on the reverse-swing issues of the second Test at Port Elizabeth.
South African fast bowlers used the old ball to great effect in Port Elizabeth, with Dale Steyn particularly unstoppable in a collapse of 9-62, in contrast to the tourists, who failed to manage the condition of the ball.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia had one main training session to make amends before the three-Test series decider starts on Saturday and worked a lot with old balls that had been scratched to promote reverse swing.
Veteran fast bowler Ryan Harris admitted that they were 'cheating' with the ball by scraping it on the concrete, adding that it is good practice for the batsmen because it goes a lot more than what it does in a game.
Harris further said that the ploy is also a good practice for the bowlers, adding that hiding the ball when one is running in to bowl takes a lot of practice as well.
The report mentioned that Australia is looking to copy Steyn's approach to the bowling crease, in which he leaves batsmen with no idea as to whether the ball is swinging in or out, with coaches Darren Lehmann and Michael Di Venuto setting up some bowling machines to deliver extreme in-swingers similar to the ones from Steyn in Port Elizabeth.
(Posted on 01-03-2014)