Chance for young guns to be counted | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 22, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Chance for young guns to be counted

I’d like to see Sreesanth take on the responsibility of being the strike bowler — he’s not really done that in a one-day game. Ashish Nehra is around and he’s a seasoned campaigner, but for youngsters like Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar, games against a top-quality side on flat tracks can be a coming of age series, writes Anil Kumble.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2010 00:17 IST
Anil Kumble

Zaheer Khan’s not there, so this is a chance for the young bowlers to take charge.

I’d like to see Sreesanth take on the responsibility of being the strike bowler — he’s not really done that in a one-day game. Ashish Nehra is around and he’s a seasoned campaigner, but for youngsters like Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar, games against a top-quality side on flat tracks can be a coming of age series.

It won’t be easy. Because of the nature of the wickets, the team will be top-heavy, i.e. loaded with batsmen, like in the Jaipur game.

The advantage is that you bat down to No. 9 — in India’s case, everybody except Sreesanth and Nehra can bat.

The flip side is that it takes a heavy toll on your bowlers — especially if you play with only three full-time bowlers like India did. It was a gamble and in the end, it paid off but it almost didn’t, because India got complacent. They can’t afford to be that way. 220-8 with the tail needing a dozen runs an over for eight to 10 overs doesn’t mean the game’s in the bag anymore. After the advent of T20 cricket, almost everyone can bat a bit — or will try to.

There’s also been a sea change in mindset because of this and the batting and bowling powerplays. Chasing 300 is par for the course, so is chasing 320. India were lucky that Ravindra Jadeja bowled superbly, but it’s not always going to be that way. As a bowler, you can’t afford to not be thinking ahead of the batsman and you constantly have to innovate with field settings.

The last factor is really important. With all the technology available to the players today, most batsmen know what to expect from the field and what they need to do to beat that field. They even practice with specific field placements.

So what can a pacer do under these circumstances? You need a slower ball, so keep the yorker handy, but the basic golden rule of line and length will always, always work.

Hawkeye Communications