Trent Boult adding new Skills to his Batting

Trent Boult is known more for his swing bowling, but, watching him bowl against the Gujarat Lions in IPL Qualifier 2 on Friday, it seemed he had been adding some other things to his repertoire behind the scenes.

While, he was handed the white kookaburra to go first up, he bowled at good pace putting the ball at good length and getting it to nibble a little bit as well, but, when he returned just ahead of the second strategic time out to bowl for the second time with the ball having turned slightly greyish and not capable of swinging at all, he bowled slower balls using his wrists.

It was something he was seen doing for the first time. Earlier his bowling in the death was not too different from what he would deliver at the beginning. His length would have been the same all the time and pace too and that’s why, although, he was a tough customer to deal with upfront, the batsmen could get him away for runs later for the length that he provided.

The good length is the length to bowl only when the ball changes its trajectory slightly in the air, but, if it’s not happening and the ball is going straight on, then, that’s a run getting length because the batsmen can then loft it and can get muscle behind it too. So, the change ups and that too of various types are quite must nowadays.
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Mustafizur Rahman gave too many against India

Mustafizur Rahman had a reality check against India at Mirpur on Wednesday as he was taken for plenty on a bowling conducive deck.

It was for the first time in his short career that Mustafizur had been belted around the park like that.

Mustafizur had done some severe damage to India when they had last toured Bangladesh.

But, this time around, the Indian batsmen looked to play him differently. There was a pre planned approach to try and attack him.

At the start though, the Indian batsmen struggled to get him away as he was getting the ball to move around.

But, later on Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya dealt with Mustafizur in a very harsh way as they dismissed him with disdain when he returned in the death to finish his quota.

He was probably trying to use too many variations and thus, was faltering a bit in terms of his accuracy and for the batsmen of the quality of Rohit and Pandya, those were easy pickings.

Mustafizur could have been more expensive if the umpires had not been a little generous to him towards the end of his spell.

A couple of his deliveries which he tried to slip in wide on the off side could so easily have been called wide deliveries and India could have got extra runs and extra deliveries, but, he got the benefit of the doubt as the umpires let those go. Read more »

Ravindra Jadeja has made a memorable comeback in white clothing for India

Ravindra Jadeja has made a memorable comeback in white clothing for India as he has managed to grab a total of 12 wickets in the three innings in the presently going test series against South Africa.

The most pleasing thing for Jadeja’s fans is to see that he is bowling with a straight arm again. After the shoulder injury which he had sustained playing in the 2013 season, he had started to bowl with a slightly round arm action which was harming him. Bowling that way, he was not being able to bring his natural variation into play and was going for plenty.

His performance on the tours of England and Australia and also, in the World Cup was disappointing prompting the selectors to drop him and ask him to go to the drawing board again and figure out his problems.

And, the Shaurashtra southpaw indeed did quite a bit of work on his game after being left out. Now, he is looking as confident as he has ever been and most importantly, he is bowling his straight deliveries, or the arm balls as people often call it, with the same devastating effect.

Batting wise too, Jadeja made a decent contribution in the first game in Mohali. The scoreboard would show only 38 to his name, but, those 38 runs were like gold dust in the context of that game as the pitch there was a square turner. Read more »

Andrew Strauss is not going to be hesitant to make any decision

It looks like Andrew Strauss is not going to be hesitant to make any decision in his new role as the England chief.

There were talks that Strauss will not be able to work ruthlessly.

But, with his handling of the Kevin Pietersen matter, Strauss has shown that he is not worried about public opinion and he would do what he thinks is in the best interests of the England team.

It would have been very hard for Strauss to call Pietersen and tell him straight on his face that he’s not the guy who is to be trusted and thus, there’s no chance at all for him to be given a recall as far as the international Cricket is concerned.

Pietersen had just smashed more than 300 runs versus Leicestershire and the entire media was hyping him. The pressure was immense on Strauss and ECB to take him in consideration for the New Zealand series.

But, Strauss was very clear what he wanted to do and straightaway after taking the charge, he set up a meeting with Pietersen and made him aware of the situation.

Of course, people will have different things to say on this. Some might think that Strauss took personal grudges into account when he made the call.

But, at least he had the courage to make the call and he was brave enough to come out in the press and explain everything. Read more »

English top order batsmen must make sure that they don’t go too much

In the test series against Pakistan, the English top order batsmen must make sure that they don’t go too much into their shell against the new ball.

Normally, anywhere in the world, batting against the new ball is the trickiest thing, but, in subcontinent, the scenario happens to be a little bit different.

If you are playing in subcontinent, your best chance of scoring runs fluently is when the ball is hard and new and has shine on it because that’s when you can play your shots on the rise. You don’t have to worry about swing because it won’t be there.

If you are too watchful at the start and don’t take advantage of the hardness of the ball, you will not help yourself as batting will only get tougher and tougher with the ball getting softer and older.

It’s a mistake that England actually made on their last tour to Emirates. Their openers at that time adopted an immensely circumspect approach and just did not score runs when the fast bowlers were on with the new ball only to go on and find later on that scoring against the spinners was virtually impossible.

In one of the games on that tour, England just required 145 to win and their opening pair hung in there for 90 deliveries in that chase. But, what they scored in that duration was just 21 and once they got split, the spinners waved their magic and in a matter of 50 more runs thereafter, the whole team was back in the hut.

Had the openers been a little more attacking there, it would have kept Pakistan in the game.

This time around, England however, has picked an attacking opener in Alex Hales who would not hang back at all and that would do the Three Lions a lot of good. Read more »

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