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.
Brisk start is the key in subcontinent. If the openers have a few boundaries under their belt and they are batting at decent scores when the spinners come on, their confidence would be up and then, they can put them off their lengths.
You can’t allow the spinners to just settle down and bowl to their lengths in those conditions. If you do so, you are just waiting for your downfall.