When Sachin Tendulkar is on the rampage, bowlers normally run out of ideas. Kochi Tuskers bowler R Vinay Kumar though, went for an unusual improvisation - slinging it like Lasith Malinga during Friday's match against Mumbai Indians.
Kumar dropped his arm lower on his delivery stride as he released the ball. The ball was on target too, and a surprised Tendulkar could do was push it to the covers.
Turns out it was all part of the plan. Kochi Tuskers captain Mahela Jayawardene is now encouraging his bowlers to try out new things on the field to keep the batsmen guessing. "I have encouraged players to try out new things which they practice at nets," the former Sri Lanka skipper said on Sunday, on the eve of the match against champions Chennai Super Kings.
It is not a one-off thing, it seems, as Kumar was again seen practicing the awkward action at nets on Sunday. "Twenty20 cricket is all about variations. And if the bowlers are willing to try, I'm all for it," said Jayawardene.
As long as Kumar tried out that action against Mumbai Indians, he was pushed for singles. He even conceded a wide but could not be hit around the park. But the moment he switched back to his normal action, the little master gave Kumar a taste of his own medicine, going for a 'helicopter shot' ala Mahendra Singh Dhoni to get a boundary.