Ant Botha has stressed that spin can be a “potent weapon” as Warwickshire prepare for a crunch Twenty20 tussle with Northamptonshire at Milton Keynes.
Tonight’s match at Campbell Park should be a cracker, with the in-form Bears facing the only team above them in the group, Northamptonshire having won all four so far.
And Botha and fellow spinner Ian Salisbury are set for a key role. So far in this year’s tournament, they have delivered 21-0-124-9 – an excellent effort in this frenetic format.
Botha is relishing the challenge.
“Twenty20 is something that suits my character,” said the 31-year-old. “In Twenty20 the fear of failure is totally wiped out and that allows me to express myself and take on the challenge, which I enjoy.
“Spin can be a potent weapon but you can’t get carried away. There will be times when someone gets hold of you and then it’s a matter of holding your nerve.
“You also have to know how to bowl on certain grounds. Bristol and Taunton, for example, are very different in terms of the wicket and boundaries. So Ian and myself have to come up with the right plan for every game.
“Ian is a massive asset to us. He is bowling particularly well and it’s just a matter of keeping his body in good shape. I think the two of us have got a big role to play.”
Botha’s mission after the Twenty20 will be to start taking more wickets in championship cricket where his bowling so far has been solid but unspectacular.
“One of my big goals is to not just be a contributor but a match-winner,” he said. “So that is something I have to try and work on. The wickets are not that helpful early in the season, but the guys have been extremely supportive and said ‘listen, you are doing a fantastic job’.
“Sometimes I get a bit down because I want to be that match-winner but I have to be realistic, especially as a finger-spinner. Sometimes you just have to take a supporting role in the bowling unit.”