Good batting, by definition, is all about playing each ball according to its merit and executing high percentage shots according to the match situation. Leaving the ball, blocking it, nudging it between the gaps and rotating the strike, driving it along the ground, lofting it high over the fielder's head, and pulling or hooking the ball are all good as long as they're the correct, high percentage response to a particular delivery.
Naturally good temperament is necessary to bat well, no matter what you're doing with the ball as a batsman. Without good temperament against any international bowling attack including our own, success becomes streaky and ultimately unsustainable.
Premeditation is the enemy of good batting as defined. A premeditated block can be just as detrimental as a premeditated, low percentage slog sweep to a team's chances of competing in an international match. Whereas the aforesaid slog sweep will get us out, blocking full tosses and half volleys when runs, especially easy singles are available, will bog us down, generate intense pressure brought upon by the subsequent rhythm and momentum from the attacking opposition, and inevitably result in wickets with inadequate runs on the board. You need the right temperament to successfully survive a contest of attrition and playing each ball according to its merit, not pitifully trying to execute a premeditated script, is what exemplifies that right temperament.
Tamim's dismissal proves the point. Not including a couple of streaky boundaries, he was scoring fluently with high percentage boundaries and over boundaries off of pretty ordinary bowling, and despite his smoking-related stamina issues, was in good touch. The streakier Mofees helped him along from the other end before his inevitable dismissal. Then Nayeem came in at number 4 and took his momentum away by trying to block everything including full tosses and half volleys that could be hit for runs without much, if any risk. That took Tamim's momentum away and after Nayeem sent him back a couple of times when he was trying to rotate the strike, just one of them was a good call from Nayeem, Tamim felt the itch and played a premeditated shot to scratch it. He got out.
Tamim, as an international batsman and our greatest batsman to date, should and must do better. He should've shown better temperament and leadership as the senior partner, and talked to Nayeem in order to work things out. He didn't and a solvable issue became a problem. He failed convert an easy test 50 to an easy test 100 for the 7th time and left us in a precarious position. Nobody regrets that more than Tamim himself.
Having said that, he did put runs on the board as will Shakib and Nasir InshAllah. I hope Nayeem and Riyad do too. As for those who feel you don't need to rotate the strike in tests and simply allow pressure and momentum to accumulate in favor of the opposition, or a 200 ball 50 is somehow better than a 70 ball 70 when the opposition easily put up 500+, we have two completely different understandings of the game, of life, of the universe, and pretty much everything else.
"And do not curse those who call on other than GOD, lest they blaspheme and curse GOD, out of ignorance. We have adorned the works of every group in their eyes. Ultimately, they return to their Lord, then He informs them of everything they had done." (Qur'an 6:108)
Last edited by Sohel; November 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM.