Chennai: Left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe paid a generous tribute to Makhaya Ntini on Friday but took pains to avoid comparisons with the pioneer for black South African cricketers.
"He's played a big role for me. I played with him in the franchise system back home. He played a huge role for the black community in South Africa and played a part in my success also," Tsotsobe told a news conference.
Tsotsobe said he would not play the same role as Ntini when South Africa attempt to win the World Cup for the first time. The tournament opens on February 19.
"I've tried to stop people from saying that I'm filling his shoes," he said.
"I'm a different bowler to Makhaya and I try to use as much variation as possible. I'm not in the team because I'm filling his shoes. I'm doing a different role."
Tsotsobe said his heroes had been left-arm pace bowlers Wasim Akram from Pakistan and Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas while he now tried to learn from India's Zaheer Khan.
"I have not spoken a lot with Zaheer but the type of bowling he does...I have been watching him a lot. I'll sit down and analyse what he does and I'll try to do the same thing," he said.