Tsotsobe proves to be a worthy Ntini successor

Jan. 13: He is not an expressive, chatterbox sort of character like his predecessor Makhaya Ntini, but South African pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe can still make the red cherry talk.

On Wednesday, Tsotsobe grabbed 4-31 in South Africa’s 135-run rout of India in the first one-dayer of the five-match ODI series. It was his second four-wicket haul in five ODIs: the previous one had come on a contrastingly benign track against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

His dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar was the turning point in the game on Wednesday, having already got him once in the drawn Test series. Sachin is, however, known to exact revenge, and Tsotsobe is well aware of the threat. “I got the big man (Sachin) and I am happy for that. But I’m, not going to predict anything about future games. I don’t want to get that man angry,” he said.

Men of lesser mental substance might have started the five-match series on a relative “downer” after the sort of ill-luck the lanky left-arm seamer had endured in the Tests against the same Indian foes.
Tsotsobe had ended the keenly-contested, shared series with an unflattering seven wickets at an average of 48.
He lacks the genuine shock-value that Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel possess, but he seemed to crank it up at the Kingsmead, sending down a greater proportion of deliveries in the mid-130s, faster than he usually does.
“Lopsy has a precious ability to get right-handers fending on the back foot just outside off-stump, because of the bounce he can generate off a surprisingly good length,” Smith said. “He’s the next Ntini for us.”

Tsotsobe is the only coloured cricketer in the Proteas team and Ntini wants him to represent all the other black people in the world by playing for South Africa. He said recently, “Fill these shoes for us as black people everywhere in the country and in the world.”

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