Australia A series

Sayers not checking speed gun

SA quick all about wickets, not pace

Callum Kanoniuk

15 July 2014, 09:09 AM AEST

Chadd Sayers may be a medium-quick stuck in a fast bowler’s world. But for now, that’s just the way he likes it.

Sayers was the pick of the bowlers on day two at Allan Border Field, finishing the day with 3-22 from 14 overs on a pitch so lifeless it was pronounced dead days ago.

The 26-year-old is no stranger to bowling on pitches that don't offer much assistance after four seasons with the West End Redbacks, and has made an art form out of finding ways to take wickets.

A relentless pursuit of pads and stumps that forces batsmen into mistakes has yielded 115 wickets in just 28 first-class matches.

After three first-class appearances in his opening two years with South Australia, Sayers’ breakthrough season came in 2012-13, when he was the Bupa Sheffield Shield's leading wicket-taker, finishing the summer with 48 victims in nine matches at 18.52 while giving up a miserly 2.5 runs per over.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has said he wants his quicks bowling upwards of 140kph and with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and James Pattinson in his arsenal, he's not short of weapons.

A lack of pace cost Peter Siddle his spot in the Test XI in South Africa, but Sayers understands his own game well enough to know out-and-out pace isn't his way into a Baggy Green.

“I don’t think I can change the way I bowl,” Sayers told after play.

“I’m not a bowler like Mitchell Starc or Mitchell Johnson, so I’ve just got to stick to my strength and at the moment it’s working for me, so I don’t see why I would change anything.”

And why would he? Given a chance by South Australia coach Darren Berry, Sayers’ rise has coincided with the state's return to domestic cricket relevance, and not by coincidence.

In India A's first innings on this Allan Border Field pitch, when conditions were more suited to the pace and bounce from Ben Cutting and Mitch Marsh, Sayers went wicketless.

He rebounded in the second dig and was the only Australian bowler to pose any threat on a wicket that was becoming flatter by the minute.

But it was Monday when Sayers truly shone. He produced a 40-minute burst after tea that was as threatening as it was frugal to keep a waning contest alive.

The South Australian snared two wickets and conceded just three runs in a six-over spell that included an incredible 32 consecutive dot balls, and later suggested that the wicket was just to his liking.

“I’ve had a lot of experience bowling on wickets like that,” he said.

“I’m a bowler who likes to tie things down, so in a way that wicket does help me out a bit.

“I bowl a lot at Adelaide Oval, so it’s pretty similar to there.”

Lehmann, watching on as the selector on duty, may want his quicks striking fear into the hearts of batsmen, but with a tour in the UAE likely to feature docile pitches not too dissimilar to the one at AB Field, Sayers’ efforts have likely put his name up for discussion at the selection table.

Not that the boy from Woodville is paying much attention.

“I’m just happy to be playing for Australia A at the moment and doing well for them,” he said.

“Hopefully I can come out tomorrow morning and get another couple of wickets and (if) you do that then you keep putting your name up there.”