Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skipper's Not in a Spin over Rashid

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skipper's Not in a Spin over Rashid

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Durham spent yesterday learning about the club's heritage but captain Dale Benkenstein resisted the temptation to give them a lesson in spin bowling.

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the club's formation and the players went back to where it all began, the Three Tuns Hotel in Durham. But with a four-day match against Yorkshire at the Riverside starting today, Benkenstein was unwilling to get his players bogged down in planning to face Adil Rashid.

Only Steve Harmison has taken more County Championship Division One wickets than the 19-year-old leg-spinner's 21 this season but despite Durham's historical problems against the turning ball, Benkenstein does not feel the need to concentrate on counteracting him.

Rashid took a first-innings 5-88 against Durham at Headingley in April, and Gareth Batty (3-36 and 4-123), Gary Keedy (3-42) and, James Tredwell (4-88) have prospered against them in 2007.

"It was disappointing at Headingley because I don't think he (Rashid) bowled particularly well," said Benkenstein.

"We gave our wickets away, myself included. He didn't really bowl a good ball.

"It's not a technical thing, it's selling your wicket dearly and making sure you make him bowl well.

"If he does there's not much you can do but it is poor when you let pressure get wickets.

"In our first game of the season Batty got wickets and Tredwell did for Kent. They bowled tightly and in decent areas but never bowled anyone out.

"It's just a matter of hitting the ball on the ground and making them work a bit harder. If Rashid bowls really well into rough in the fourth innings you've got to give the guy credit but we shouldn't be losing wickets in the first innings when the ball isn't really spinning."

Benkenstein was more interested in his squad learning about the club, which was granted first-class status in 1990.

"It's important the players know the history," said South African Benkenstein, who joined in 2005 and has been captain for the past two summers.

"A few guys didn't realise where everything started. You only really become a strong county when you have those traditions. …

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