Cricket: Peter Pollock and Shaun Pollock
ECHO OF THE PAST
Monday 25 May 1998
Plenty. Like Peter, 24-year-old Shaun stands well over six feet - 6ft 3in as opposed to his father's 6ft 2in - and he has inherited much of his talent as a bowler. Shaun is genuinely quick, bowls close to the stumps with a good high action and gets bounce even on good wickets, much as his father did. He is particularly fond of delivering a wicked awayswinger, as Peter was. Where they differ is that Shaun is a better batsman, which suggests he picked up a few genes from Uncle Graeme, too.
How did their Test debuts compare?
Peter was only 20 when he made his, returning a stunning match analysis of 9 for 99 against New Zealand in Durban in 1961. Helped by hard pitches, he claimed 17 wickets in his first three Tests. Shaun was a little older when he made his Test bow against England at Centurion Park, near Pretoria, in 1995, and made a similar impact. One of his fast-lifting bouncers struck Michael Atherton on the helmet and he dismissed both Atherton and Graham Thorpe on his first day in Test cricket. Later in the series, he ripped through England's second innings in the decisive Test at Newlands.
What does Shaun have to emulate?
Nothing, from one point of view. He has already surpassed his father's career-best Test figures and has but two first-class centuries to his name, where his father managed one. Peter's career, of course ,was somewhat restricted. He had played only 28 Tests when South Africa were ostracised from international sport. What he might have achieved in a full career can only be guessed at.
Any other attributes?
Like his father, Shaun is a brilliant fielder and, according to South Africa's coach Bob Woolmer, "could make an opening batsmen if he had to." In fact, this was the role for which Peter seemed destined when he played in schools cricket in Port Elizabeth. However, the story is that, in order to get his hands on a bat in back- garden cricket at home, his father would insist that he had first to get his brother out - and, even at that age, to dislodge Graeme required Peter to develop considerable skills as a bowler.
Tests 28. Debut 1961 (aged 20) Bowling 116 wickets (ave 24.18) Best 6-38 v New Zealand (Durban) 1961 Batting 607 runs (ave 21.67) HS 75 not out v Australia (Cape Town) 1966
Tests (21). Debut 1995 (aged 22) Bowling 73 wickets (ave 23.42) Best 7-87 v Australia (Adelaide) 1998 Batting 849 runs (ave 32.65) HS 92 v Sri Lanka (Cape Town) 1998
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