Friday, November 16, 2012

Cricket - 10 Things a Medium Pacer Can Try on Flat Wickets

Here are 10 things a medium pacer can try on a flat wicket. For the uninitiated, a flat wicket is one where one gets no assistance at all for the wicket and the bowler has to use his imagination, intelligence, guile and skill to get batsmen out. Most medium pacers are short in this department hence the advise.

1) Stick to the basics: Bowl on one side of the wicket i.e. bowl on or outside the off stump if you have an off side field. The line is important. And since the wicket is flat, even the length is crucial. You cannot over pitch the ball or bowl short else you will be punished . (If you bowl on the middle and leg or outside the leg, unless there is a plan to bowl that way, you are dead.)

2) Keep it tight: Since the wicket is flat, the margin for error is little. So keep it tight and frustrate the batsman by not giving any runs.

3) Vary the angle of delivery: Change the angle of delivery. Bowl over or round the wickets, but stick to the line and make the batsman play. Or go wide of the crease or close to the wicket, again keeping the line constant, but changing the angle.

4) Bowl cross seam: Bowl one delivery holding the seam across as you would for a bouncer. This way you have a better chance of hitting the seam and making the ball get some extra bounce. This ball you must bowl in an area where the batsman would be surprised by the extra bounce, say a length delivery, just on the off stump, so he is forced to play the ball and not leave it - as he would a bouncer.

5) Bowl from a short run up: Cut your run up to five paces and bowl one odd ball just to surprise the batsman and catch him off guard. Kapil Dev used to do that. Especially if the ball is semi new it will deceive the batsman because he will be surprised with the change in run up, the length (which will be fuller) and the nip off the wicket. On and around the off stump will fetch maximum results - either a snick or a lbw or even a bowled if you are on off stump.

6) Bowl bang on the off stump: Focus on the off stump and try to hit it with a good length delivery. If the batsman makes an error in judgement he could leave the ball or even play the wrong line for a wicket.

7) Use cutters: Use cutters to deceive the batsman. A slow leg cutter or even a fast leg cutter can either get a batsman bowled or get a leading edge. An off cutter can get an lbw decision. Use the cutter after a couple of tight straight balls so you catch the batsman off guard.

8) Keep the ball up on the middle and off for an lbw or caught and bowled: After a few balls which are short of length (and thus keep the batsman on the backfoot), this ploy could help. Or once in a while keep the ball up, a tad slower though (use one finger to grip the seam), so that the batsman hits the ball back at you. After many tight balls he may want to go after a loose ball and may just knock it back to you or get lbw if he plays across.

9) Go wide of offstump and aim for the offstump directly: More effective if you are a left arm fast bowler bowling to a right hander but even right arm medium pacers can try it. If you have been bowling a different angle all through, just switch the angle, go wide of the crease for one ball and aim straight for the off stump. (Left hand bowlers bowling over the wicket must go around the wicket and bowl from wide of the crease into the right hander's off stump. Alternately use the cross seam for more effect because the angle will hurry and discomfit the batsman.)

10) Slant the ball across the batsman towards the first slip from a length: This is a specific variant of the 'change in angle' ball. In this, (as a right arm bowler) go close to the stumps, bowl length or just short of length but aim towards the first slip, so the ball, by nature of its angle, is leaving the batsman when it passes him. Since the angle is tight, he will normally play at it, and if it all works out, you should get an edge.

Happy bowling and hope it will fetch more wickets for you guys on flat tracks.

1 comment:

P. Kaneshkk Naidu said...

Most of the tracks on which we play is unfriendly for medium pacers. Your 10 points is worth practicing / implementing. I am sure it will yield results. Thanks.