Proteas spinner George Linde celebrates a wicket on day three of the second Test against Pakistan. Picture: PCB
Proteas spinner George Linde celebrates a wicket on day three of the second Test against Pakistan. Picture: PCB

George Linde puts pain into perspective as Proteas battle to save Pakistan series

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Feb 6, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - George Linde had a philosophical take, on what is a painful injury which he’s carrying in the second Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

Linde finished with three wickets, and scored 21 runs earlier in the day, all with an injured left pinky, that required stitches and an injection after he was hit on his bowling hand by a fierce drive from Pakistan captain Babar Azam on the first day of the match.

The incident happened in the third over that Linde bowled, and with blood oozing from the finger he sprinted off the field.

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“Honestly, I thought my season was gone,” he said after play on Saturday. “I don’t think people noticed, but I could see bone and as I started running (to the changeroom) I just popped it back in myself,” said the 29 year old left arm spinner.

“I got stitches from our doctors, went for x-rays and for some reason the finger wasn’t broken, which was good news for me.”

Linde bowled 5.5 overs in Pakistan’s first innings - with Keshav Maharaj carrying the load with 45 overs. Linde did bat on Saturday and made a run-a-ball 21 before being outfoxed by a slower ball from Hasan Ali.

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And rather than feel sorry for himself, Linde made a small adjustment in his action, and bowled nine overs in Pakistan’s second innings on Saturday, picking up 3/12, including the wicket of the obdurate Fawad Alam.

“I had to make a small adjustment with the grip. I never knew I used my pinky when I bowl. It was actually weird, so everytime I bowled I had to lift it up a little bit to make sure I had a better grip on the ball. Luckily it worked out well today.”

He also put his own discomfort into perspective. “It’s not going to knock me down, it’s just pain,” said Linde. “There are people at home, who’ve lost jobs, who’ve died because of Covid and other illnesses, my injury is nothing compared to that.”

“There was pain, sure, but you fight through it, you’re playing for your country. I won’t stand back for anything just because my finger is sore..it’s just pain, you feel it for 10 minutes, take an injection and get on with it.”

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Pakistan finished the day 200 runs ahead with four wickets standing and despite South Africa’s recent problems with the bat, Linde remains confident they can chase down anything under 300.

“If we can get four wickets quickly, we’ll be back in the game. Anything under 300 we’ll take it - realistically, maybe under 270, I’m pretty confident we’ll chase down whatever,” Linde added.

@shockerhess

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