Marlon Samuels of the Renegades. Photo: Getty Images
Melbourne Renegades coach Simon Helmot says West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels has been unfazed by questions over the legitimacy of his bowling action.
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann raised concerns about Samuels’ action after the sides’ Big Bash match at Etihad Stadium last month. Lehmann was later issued a $3000 fine, suspended for two years, for raising the issue.
Samuels has endured plenty in his international career - he was suspended for two years for having links to a bookmaker and often carries the perception he has not fulfilled his immense talent - but Helmot said Lehmann’s comments had had no bearing on the 31-year-old.
"He hasn’t worried about them at all, he’s pushed them to the side,’’ Helmot said on Tuesday as the Renegades prepared for Wednesday night’s game against the Adelaide Strikers at Etihad Stadium.
"Nothing much fazes Marlon, as you’ve probably seen.
"We all have feelings and no doubt you don’t like those things being said, but he hasn’t concerned himself with that at all.
"He’s a terrific person around our Renegades environment. He’s a quietly-mannered fellow but he really buys into the program, to the team strategy, to the coaching.
"To use a quote from Finchy (Renegades skipper Aaron Finch), he’s a calming influence out on the ground. He’s pretty relaxed. That’s his demeanour, but that’s also how he actually is. We’re really looking forward to him having a really good second half in the tournament."
The Renegades (4-1 win-loss record) are second on the Big Bash table after their 51-run defeat to the Perth Scorchers on Saturday night cost them top spot, while the Strikers (3-2) are in third spot, having been pipped by the Melbourne Stars by eight runs last Thursday night.
A key battle on Wednesday will be offspinner Samuels up against fellow West Indies' allrounder Kieron Pollard, who scored a half-century in the Strikers' loss to the Melbourne Stars in Adelaide on December 27.
"There's some pride at stake with these (West Indian) guys," Helmot said.
"It's fantastic. They give some great enthusiasm to the competition."
Helmot says the Renegades deviated from some of their team plans during their loss to the Scorchers in Perth on December 29.
"We went a little bit outside the flags," Helmot said.
The coach denied a rare failure from skipper Aaron Finch (229 runs at 76.33) was the main cause of the defeat, saying the Renegades had the batting depth to account for any situation.
"These next few games are going to be massively important. We play the Strikers and then we've got the cross-town rivals," Helmot said.
The Renegades and the Strikers boast strong spin attacks led by Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan for the home side and South African Johan Botha for the Strikers.
Helmot said the Strikers' pace weapon Shaun Tait would also be a threat.
"But he is a person who at times doesn't quite get it right and he can go for some runs," Helmot said.
The Big Bash semi-finals are held on January 15 and 16.
- with AAP