Indian bowlers, whenever they don't pick up wickets, are blamed by Indian cricket analysts for not pitching the ball up. Even if graphics show that they did actually pitched the ball up to the batsmen, the analysts would say that they didn't bowled full enough.

On the other hand even if it is clear that opponents bowlers got wickets by bowling short ball, Indian cricket analyst would come at the end of the match that they bowled much much fuller.

It seems that Indian cricket analysts feel that pitching the ball up is the only way to get wickets in cricket and pitching the ball short of a length is a sin.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling
Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling full at Lords

There is one analyst who is going gaga about "Unlucky Ishant Sharma" these days. Ishant has started picking up few more wickets these days than before, and this analyst wants us to believe that it is due to him bowling fuller length. Fact is, Ishant is bowling similar lengths to what he has been bowling throughout his career.

Recent success of Ishant is due to the fact how a new captain of Indian cricket team Virat Kohli, is using him. Virat is using him as an attacking bowler rather than defensive one.

Under MS Dhoni, former Indian test captain, Ishan't was used as a run saver rather than a wicket taker. Often MS Dhoni was found speaking in press conferences that Zaheer Khan is his attacking option and he uses Ishant to stop runs, and clear message has been given to both those bowlers to ball in such a way.

How you see a bowler as captain makes all the difference. This is where Virat Kohli is different, and which also makes him the best captain ever of indian cricket team, that he sees his fast bowlers as attacking options, those who can play major part in winning matches, and not just defensive support bowlers to spinner. And this is true even when India plays matches at home.

Coming back to bowling up, well you have to take conditions under consideration. As always, Indian bowlers were asked to ball full in South Africa, because that is what experts want from them, but did India payed for it.

Yes! India did pay in terms of loosing couple of test matches and a series.

Those were very difficult, up and down test match pitches. Scoring runs was difficult, and hence it was important that bowler don't serve up half volleys or anything full enough to concede easy runs. But that's what happen when you go exploring full lengths rather than sticking to good lengths and be patient.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the major culprit in first test match for looking to ball too full, to please his supporters in commentary box it seems, and gave away crucial runs to Ab De Villiers, and other South African batsmen.

In a low scoring game every run matters. And those runs given away due to bowling fuller lengths was the difference at the end of the match, which south africa won by 132 runs. Virat was right in dropping bhuvneshwar in 2nd test, as such adventures by a bowler would only prove to be disastrous for team on a flattish surface.

Ishant came into the second test and bowled perfect lengths. Even the new comer Jusprit Bumrah bowled good short of a length and restricted South Africa to a minimal total. There it was not the fault of bowlers, but just that India lost the crucial toss on a pitch that will become poor and poor as game goes on. India batted last and lost.

All this while, South African bowlers kept bowling short of a length ( Indian experts will say they bowled full, as per habit) and reaped great rewards. They not only picked up wickets with occasional full balls, but also kept the runs down by bowling short of length and bowling wide of off stump. Even new comers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi NGidi were bowling short lengths than Indian bowlers. In fact it was the highlight of the series how they bowled back of length and controlled the game.

In the last test match, thankfully Bhuvneshwar Kumar realised his mistakes, didn't bowled for galleries unlike first test match, and did much better job. Result, India won the match easily even on pitch heavily loaded towards home side.

Forcing the bowlers to pitch the ball up is a worry some trend in India. Because there is nothing in pitches for fast bowlers in India, when they bowl the ball up to the batsmen, it disappears for 4's and 6's.  The bowlers average goes up, and than same experts ridicule that bowler for giving away so many runs.

Bowlers need to be smart and shouldn't get pressurized by what experts say. These experts also, unfortunately, create atmosphere in public against hard working bowlers, which never helps anyone.

Indian bowlers should ball their natural short good lengths. They are very talented as can be seem by their wrist positions. They should also not worry about going for bit of runs. Any bowler who looks to pick up wickets may go for runs. Umesh Yadav is a prime example of it.

Thankfully, the present captain and team management support their fast bowlers. And this should encourage them not pitch the ball up and pay for it.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post