India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts 2

Pieterson out ! match on ! (toh Videocon)…okay that’s cheesy !

Pieterson got out trying to pull a ball from outside off. That, in my mind, is the biggest “get-out” shot in international cricket…especially to the quicks. It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how strong you are..people are never comfortable with that shot. Yet, almost every batsman has made that mistake one time or the other in their careers.

Why is it such a difficult shot to play ? Because the bat has to start from pointing to the wicket-keeper and ends up pointing to fine-leg. When the line of the ball is middle-stump the batsman has time to swivel, get in position and brace for the impact before bat meets ball.

Now, consider what happens when the line of the ball is off-outside-off: The batsman is still in the process of winding up. He is still getting ready to swivel. He is not ready for impact of bat with ball. It gets worse if the ball is quick.

I have seen two batsmen pull the ball from outside off-stump successfully, over and over again. Sachin “Don” Tendulkar and Aravinda “Mad Max” D’Silva. The reason these two were so successful was because they had good eyes. They were able to judge the length of the ball in a jiffy and get in position. The other trick was to hit the ball in the air, almost like a hook shot. They usually did not try to get on top of the ball (and roll their wrists as most folks like to do).. The idea was to get under the ball and hit it up and over square-leg.

I wonder why other batsmen do not do that….

As I write, Flintoff drives to point, uppishly. Yuvraj takes the catch…Indians are thrilled …game most certainly on !


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