England's management are trying to get another Derbyshire pace man to change the way he bowls - but this time there will be no controversy.
As the Devon Malcolm revelations rumbled on in Great Britain, Dominic Cork admitted in Durban yesterday that the England hierarchy are right to order him to make alterations to his approach for one-day games.
At 3-1 down in the seven-match international series against South Africa, which resumes in Durban today with the fifth one-dayer, England's management recognise that they must tighten up in certain areas of their out-cricket - not just for the three remaining South African matches but in preparation for next month's World Cup in India and Pakistan.
The England manager, Ray Illingworth, said after England's afternoon net session yesterday that he would be having a separate meeting with the bowlers before tomorrow's match to thrash out problems of inconsistency that have plagued England so far in the one-day series.
He said: "We are going to have a team meeting to go over things in general because we have made hard work for ourselves by going 3-1 down. But I will then be having a meeting with the bowlers on their own because we have to make sure we don't keep giving away runs with wides and no-balls and we have to start concentrating on bowling it into the right areas. We have to start being tuned in."
The 24-year-old Cork, now England's leading bowler, knows that he carries a lot of responsibility for improving the way England bowl during the crucial first 15 overs of an innings, when only two fielders are allowed outside the inner 30-yard circle.
Cork, like the rest of England's players, is making no comment about the Devon Malcolm affair, but as a close friend of Malcolm's at Derbyshire he did allow himself a smile when asked about his reaction to Illingworth's instructions that he should adopt a tighter line with the new ball, a different angle of attack and the "right mental attitude" towards one- day cricket.
Cork said that the England captain, Mike Atherton, had also sought him out for "a chat" after Sunday's defeat in Pretoria, in which Cork's 10 overs cost 65 runs. "I was starting the ball off too straight, and their batsmen were getting easier shots to play than they should have been at that stage.
"What might be a wicket-taking ball in Test cricket can be hit over the top in these games. You have to try to adjust. It's an intense type of cricket," he said.
There were also problems for the England management on the batting front as Neil Fairbrother, the Lancashire batsman, was ruled out of today's international with a troublesome groin injury, which he suffered during Saturday's defeat in Johannesburg. With everyone else avalaible to play, England were not planning to announce their final XI until just before the start of the day-night contest.Reuse content