View Full Version : Pitch & the New Ball - Test 1

October 23, 2003, 06:06 PM
It seems the pitch has plenty of pace & bound to offer yet. Look at how Harmison is capitalizing on it. In the first innings, he took 5 for 35. It also seems that the tweakers are seeing success only after the ball is considerably worn.

If this is the case, then why didn't BD get any early breakthrough in England's first innings with the pace & bounce? After all the ball was only a few overs old. England went to 111 for 0 on day 2. Well, actually, we did have the breakthrough, we lost the chances by dropping the catches that evening. It should have been 111 for 2 or 3. However, if we look at the BD bowling stats at the end of day 2, we see that the spinners gave out more runs than the seamers. Masri dominated, but did not have a wicket to his name to show for it, we let the opportunities slip by.

On the 3rd day, the tweakers duo clamped down on England only after considerable wear on the ball. Then, look what happens when Sujon asked for the new ball. Masri takes 3 wickets in 3 back-to-back overs. He would have taken the last wicket before 28 more valuable runs were scored, if he had not lost his line.

Now, once again the cherry switches hands almost brand new. Harmison cashes on it immediately. Weapon: A nasty riser. Victim: Khondokar Mohammed Rajin Saleh Alam. Unfortunate, Rajin may have too much pride to duck.

So, here we are: looking at a morning when the fast ones will be pointed at our heads for the first 25 overs. Sad, Basher does not have the temperament for such things. He will have to be very lucky to get through the first session,(although, luck had been with him in the past). What happens when the shine is off the leather? We have seen Batty taking good care of it by holding us to a low strike rate against his bowling (Except for the one over that went for 13, thanks to Mushfiq). Batty may not be getting a lot of wickets, but, our top & middle do not look comfortable against him.

Based on this, tomorrow's first session may see some casualties for BD, caused by the pacers. If we get past lunch, the runrate can dramatically drop if England's spinners follow discipline. End of the day, if we are still batting, will bring in another new ball and all the dangers with it.

So, our strategy should be "Patience" and only patience. Let's get through the first session. The hell with runrate, just stay there with a bat positioned vertical to the pitch along with the pad away from the stumps. Then, after lunch, dispatch the loose ones pitched by the tweakers. Lastly, have at least one of the top 4 available to take the new ball in the afternoon. If we do this right tomorrow, we may just ensure a 5th day draw already.

Otherwise, there is a high probability that tomorrow will be the last day of this test match with England winning comfortably.
Last thought, what if the pitch condition changes dramatically? What if it looses it's liveliness? Now, that will be a completely different scenario. The chances for a draw will be much higher then.

October 23, 2003, 06:49 PM
Just as the first innings, it is again extremely important to bat through the first spells of Harmison and Hoggard. For the first 45 minutes to an hour, we have to be extremely careful and not lose a wicket. If we can do that (unlikely), the rest of the day will again get easier. If we lose two or three in the first hour, it will be a difficult day.

October 23, 2003, 09:06 PM
nice post