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Samuels cool over bowling criticism
Greg Buckle
17:41 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

Marlon Samuels was hurt by questioning of his bowling action but has brushed the controversy aside, according to his Melbourne Renegades coach Simon Helmot.

Helmot described the West Indies allrounder as a calming presence on and off the field for the Renegades and said that hadn't changed despite Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann receiving a suspended fine of $3000 for questioning the legitimacy of his action.

The Renegades (4-1 win-loss record) host the Adelaide Strikers (3-2) at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday following a last-start loss to the Perth Scorchers as competition for top-four spots tightens ahead of the Big Bash semi-finals on January 15 and 16.

Helmot said Samuels had rebounded swiftly from the questions over his bowling action.

"He hasn't worried about them at all," Helmot said on Tuesday. "He has pushed them to the side.

"Nothing much fazes Marlon.

"We all have feelings. You don't like those sort of things being said.

"He's a terrific person around the Renegades' environment.

"He's a calming influence, even on the ground. He's pretty relaxed."

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.


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