Lanky Lutho avoids the fast lane … for now

Lutho Sipamla. Photo: Gallo Images.

Lutho Sipamla. Photo: Gallo Images.

He’s the Proteas’ newest fast-bowling find, but it’s all about keeping it simple for the 20-year-old.

Lutho Sipamla is clearly not a young man with habit of complicating things.

He wasn’t an attacking batsman who later became a frontline seamer.

He didn’t have to agonise over whether to choose one sporting code over another.

And he’s not trying blast away opposition batsmen with searing pace before honing his other skills.

It’s all about simplicity when it comes to the Proteas’ latest rookie fast-bowling revelation.

“I’ve always been a bowler,” the 20-year-old said on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s third and final T20 against Pakistan in Centurion.

“I knew it the day I took the ball in my hand for the first time. It’s really something that just came naturally to me.”

The day in question came when Sipamla was eight.

“My dad took me to a coaching clinic in Port Elizabeth. I just loved it from the outset,” he said.

“I played my first competitive game in Grade three, played for the A-team. Yeah, I just took to the sport very well. I played rugby, but once high school hit, I concentrated more on cricket and I started drifting into the B-teams of the rugby.”

Selection for the national Under-19 team was inevitable once he invested most of his energy into his bowling, but Sipamla’s rise has been fairly rapid since being drafted by the Tshwane Spartans for this season’s Mzansi Super League.

He finished the third highest wicket-taker with 16 victims.

But that achievement wasn’t what made him the most happy.

“I gained a lot of experience playing with AB‚” said Sipamla of his Spartans skipper.

“Sharing the dressing room‚ training and playing with him was life-changing for me because he kept me calm.

“His presence calms you because he speaks to you and gives you plans. I learned a lot from that experience because at times he allowed me to set the field by myself according to what I wanted to help my bowling.”

Sipamla’s stand-in national skipper at the weekend at the Wanderers, David Miller, employed a similar strategy with the debutant bowler within his ranks.

“When David introduced me‚ he gave me suggestions on field placings and how to bowl because he saw we were in trouble and not bowling the right lines,” he said.

“He asked me to bowl straight and try to control the run rate and I played the role of controlling rather than taking wickets.”

It worked a treat as the Warriors prospect conceded just 23 runs off his four overs, playing a huge part in South Africa’s series-clinching win.

He wants a wicket or two on Wednesday … but fretting over it will betray his outlook on the game – simplicity.

“I would like to take a wicket every time I bowl but they will come by doing the right things over and over again.

“It is a process that will come with time‚ but I am looking forward to the moment of taking that first wicket.”

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