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Archive for the ‘Bowling’ Category

Resilient Australia Bounced Back After English Tail Wagged

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich hit tons as Australia reduced the deficit to 186. Earlier Greame Swann hit 47 not out to take England score to 435. England tail enders annoyed Australia, as they piled up 99 runs in just 16.5 overs which took England to a respectable total. Peter Siddle started of with couple of half volleys, which helped the tail to get the momentum they wanted. Johnson scalped Stuart Broad for 19 when the score was just 355 and after that Greame Swann joined Anderson to launch a ferocious assault against the Aussie bowlers. This pair added 68 runs in just 10 overs which irritated the Aussie bowlers to the core as Mitchell Johnson lost his cool and sent out smears at the batsmen.

Australia started well as rookie opener Phil Hughes made a brisk 28 of just 30 balls before lunch. England bowlers made the mistake of pitching it short and offering width. He scored runs quickly without any hesitation. Post lunch, Flintoff came in and bowled from around the stumps to Hughes. His vulnerability against short-pitched deliveries was then exposed. It was tough for him to play Flintoff with the kind of pace he was bowling. Finally, he fell to a short delivery from Flintoff, which went in to the hands of Matt Prior. Ricky Ponting started off cautiously. However, once he got his eye in, he played some mesmerizing drives and gained control of the match. Katich looked composed from the time he entered the crease and apart from Flintoff, no other bowler threatened him. Pitch started to turn from the afternoon, but neither Swann nor Panesar troubled the Aussie pair.

As the third day beckons, the intensity of the series has been below par compared to 2005.If Australia managed to score 500+ runs, which looks apparent with the current scenario, then England’s second innings will decide the fate of this test match. According to the pitch report, it is expected to turn from day 3. We have seen some hint of turn on day 2 itself. So if Hauritz and part-timers bowl with their heart out, then Australia will have a greater chance to win the test.

Combating The Rattling Pace

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Indian batsmen are known for their diverse batting skills and their ability to adapt to alien conditions. Considering all these factors, the incompetence against quality fast bowling or precisely short-pitch bowling still remains a mystery. This is not a new issue, this is prevailing since India played their maiden test. Indian cricket has contributed legendary players like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and several other phenomenal players to the global arena. But when India plays against a quality fast bowling team, they succumb to it. There is no question about the talent and skills these players possess. Let’s see some of the roadblocks being faced by the Indian team.

Sluggish home tracks

This stands as the main barrier for India’s success against short-pitched bowling. India plays most of their home matches on spinner friendly wickets and this makes it difficult for them to counter short-pitched bowling on seamer-friendly foreign tracks. The counter point to this would be our bunch of quality spinners. This factor worked in the past since our pace battery was weak. We didn’t had any ‘Fast Bowlers’ apart from Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath. Now the scenario is totally different. We have some world-class seamers like Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and RP Singh followed by some real performers who are waiting for their turn. It is quite simple; India doesn’t rely on spinners any more! If India wants to be the world-beaters, then our domestic wickets need revamp to make it sportive. This will also provide encouragement for young fast bowlers.

Backfoot Skills

For combating short-pitched bowling, basic quality required is foolproof backfoot shots especially, the cut, the pull and the hook. Without proper training and techniques these shots cannot be executed successfully and would end up in dismissal. VVS. Laxman is considered as a better player of pace amongst the Indian batsmen. His back foot shots and wrist work are really impeccable and that was the reason behind his success against Australia Down Under.

Positive mindset

This is required for success in any form of life. Indian batsmen need to bat with the mindset just like they bat in the Indian conditions. Mindset plays a pivotal role as we have seen the example set by Australia in mind game. Similar strategy should be adopted by India in their pursuit of success against short-pitched bowling.

In short, when all these factors are incorporated, the solution is found for battling the short-pitched bowling. Neither batsmen nor bowlers hold the edge in cricket. It is the competencies of each that lock horns. If your basics are good and have a positive frame of mind then your chances are high to succeed in the International arena, irrespective of bowling or batting.

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