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Old October 19, 2012, 07:07 PM
firstlane firstlane is offline
Join Date: March 8, 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,838

I like it when someone takes bowlers' side, specially fast bowlers. One of Harsha's rare good articles:

Harsha Bhogle: T20 is for the thinking cricketer

"Something beautiful is happening to T20 cricket. Both in Sri Lanka, and now in South Africa, bowlers are making a strong comeback. They are saying they never went away, that they were just forced by pitches and boundary distances to take a little detour. Fast bowlers and spinners are back in demand, and those that do just a bit of this and a little bit of that are getting the sporting equivalent of pink slips."

"It is my hypothesis, and it is worth a debate, that bowlers have become more versatile. Like with all aspects of civilisation, adversity has forced them to become more inventive. So fast bowlers have the yorker aimed at the base of leg stump, but they also have the one that kisses the tramline on the off side; they have the back-of-the-hand slower ball and the fastish offbreak; they have the sharp bouncer and the loopy one. With the batsmen coming hard, the bowlers have had to innovate, and as a result, the thinking bowlers are surviving.
Bowlers who can only ping the ball at the base of leg stump are getting paddle-swept. If they show their hand early, they are getting reverse-swept. If they don't turn the ball, they are being hit through the line, and when facing modern bats, if you don't beat the batsman in the air, the ball is going 90 metres away. T20 is forcing bowlers to acquire many variations. The format might seem like a brash young kid, bred on modern lifestyles, but it is rewarding old virtues again."

"It has long been my thesis that Indian coaches have let Indian cricket down by not challenging their wards to think, by merely telling them what to do. With 27 teams, even 15 in the elite group of the Ranji Trophy, India should, by a conservative estimate, routinely produce seven to eight spinners and an equal number of seamers. The selectors should have a mighty headache caused by the overwhelming choice available. Good systems produce those choices. India are currently producing cricketers who are hitting road blocks, even in T20. By contrast, Australia had 11 fast bowlers at the Champions League, and they still had Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Ryan Harris back home. The Titans - without AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and the Morkel brothers - still put a very competitive team on the park."
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