Originally Posted by LateCut
Can someone explain what the term "natural game" means? I am at a loss to find a meaning of this phrase that makes sense. I am just being awed by the gritty 2nd inning played by SA to save the match. Everybody put a value on their wicket mostly in vain. There was only one player who had the strike rate above 50. It was that of Amla who perished at 17. The man who single handedly forced a draw had a strike rate of 29. Faf Du Plessis was standing unconquered at 110 when the wistle blew. Was it his natural game? I do not think so judging from his stats in ODI and T20s stat (could not find his FC stat). What is striking is that this was his first and only test at the ripe old age of 28. Contrast this with our most succesfull batsman. This stat spans among tests, ODIs and T20Is at 60, 80 and 100 (roughly). Compare that with that of Plessis' (35, 88 and 155). Who is more aggrssive when it counts? Certainly not Tamim. Tamims strike rates are simillart to Graeme Smith's whose test average is close to 50 (as compared to 38. for Tamim). Our state of affirs for other batsmen is more abysmal in this respect. Similar analysis on other BD players shows the Kamikazi mentality even more pronouncedly. Is the natural game means playing on the backfoot irrespective of the length of the ball, trying to hook or pull anything short, charge out of the crease when in doubt, try to blast the ball out of the stadium to punctuate a personal milestone or at nevous nineties? I doubt it. I for one do not believe that we have the talent to play test cricket. I think we play our "natural game" to hide our inadequecy of skill (and talent). It is an excuse that is too easy to invoke (i.e. he got out playing his natural game). We resort to it freely and often at the face of each failure. If a lesson is not learned then it just might be coded in the DNA and cannot be altered. Thus I would wish that the current crop of BD players get out of test cricket and form a Russian Roulette team instead. Test cricket is a vintage to be sipped not gulped.
You are right. Sometimes I wonder if we the fans can understand this then how come they being professional cricketer doesn't know that the key to be a successful test batsman is to stay at the crease as long as possible. But I think more than their arrogance it's the lack of good techniques and shot selection which forces them to play extravagant shots. They seriously lacks the techniques to survive for a long period of time. As you've mentioned that they tries to hook and pull going on their backfoot irrespective of the length of the ball which just proves they simply can't judge the ball. Also we have seen them trying to hit a ball outside the off stump and get a thick edge, again the times they want to leave those they gets bowled which just proves either they have no idea where their offstump is or they don't know which ball to play and which one to leave. Like Tamim did during this test and seeing Tamim getting out like that what Naeem did is he started to play every ball and got out by inviting a ball to hit his stumps.
So these stupidity goes on and on and no one is there to take some time and fix this. BD is always thinking about short term result and so are the players. The players thinks ok I don't have time to develop better techniques or fix the shortcomings so why don't I I just charge the bowlers so the opposition goes to a defensive mode and I score some quick runs and secure my place in the team. But now every other team has figured out how we play and how weak we are against short balls and all. So they let us score some quick runs as they know they will eventually deceive the batsman and will get him out. I think there is serious problem in the way these current lot of players were trained from their young age. They simply don't have it in them. May be because in the domestic circuit all they have to do is go for some flashy shots to get quick runs and get selected.
Also I think they are also afraid to change their approach as they think they might not be successful if they change their style. Ash is a great example of that. He is still left as a confused player. Tamim too looks confused when he tries to slow down and play patiently. I don't think you'll see any change in their approach in this generation of players. They will keep scoring with those extravagant shots as that's how they've been successful. May be if we can guide the next generation of player in the proper direction and try to build up a culture of playing patiently with proper cricketing shot only then you might see some changes. For that to happen you have to come through a strict and organized FC system and there comes the same pachal again. So we are stuck in a vicious cycle now and someone will seriously have to take steps to get these players come out of that cycle.