GEORGETOWN - Shaun Pollock was South Africa's star bowler in the home one-day international season but his World Cup form is a worry for captain Graeme Smith.
In two successive matches, the normally miserly Pollock has "travelled", in Smith's words, after being targeted by opposition batsmen.
Against Australia in St Kitts on Saturday, Pollock was hammered for 42 runs in an opening spell of five overs.
He finished with a career-worst none for 83 in 10. The pattern was similar against Sri Lanka at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown on Wednesday when Smith had to take his star bowler out of the attack after he conceded 32 runs in four overs.
"It's something were going to have to look at," said Smith. "I think most teams are probably going to look to target him up front. He's a key bowler for us when he bowls well."
Australia went on to win Saturday's match but South Africa beat Sri Lanka by one wicket, largely because Pollock's fellow bowlers performed well.
"I think he was backed up superbly by the rest of the guys," said Smith.
Pollock, 33, arrived at the World Cup in the best form of his life.
After he took five for 23 against Pakistan in South Africa's final international before the World Cup, the International Cricket Council announced he had achieved the third-highest bowling points ranking of all time behind only past greats Joel Garner of the West Indies and New Zealand's Richard Hadlee.
Pollock is at his best when there is life and pace in the pitch, such as he finds in South Africa. But on the slow, flat pitches of the West Indies he has been vulnerable to attack from the likes of Australia's Matthew Hayden and Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya.
Smith gave no hint of what looking at the Pollock situation might entail.
Pollock will have a chance to redeem himself in South Africa's next two matches against Ireland and Bangladesh, the weakest teams in the second round Super Eights.
But when it comes to the tougher games Smith and coach Mickey Arthur might have to consider giving the new ball to someone else, like swing bowler Charl Langeveldt, who came on to replace Pollock on Wednesday and took a career-best five for 39. - Sapa-AFP