ICC World Cup 2019: How to tackle Rabada and Tahir? Former India opener gives detailed gameplan
Ahead of India’s ICC World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa, former India opener Aakash Chopra has come up with a detailed plan on how to tackle the opposition’s two most potent weapons – Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
Described by none other than India captain Virat Kohli as one of the best fast bowlers going around, Rabada is certain to come hard at the Indian batsmen with the new ball. And when the ball gets old, it will be a 40-year-old that will try to fox the Indian middle order with his wrist spins. India somehow have to find a way to tackle these two if they want to start the World Cup on a winning note.
According to Chopra, it is not that difficult if they follow a particular plan.
Rabada’s full-length ball the danger
Chopra believes South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will use his go-to man Rabada in four different spells.
“Chopra also With the new ball, he is likely to bowl a little short of length to push the batsmen back, and then slip in a fast, full ball as a sucker punch. The speed on the full delivery separates Rabada from the rest, for his full balls are quicker than those of most bowlers going around. It is important that the Indian top-order batsmen are always mindful of the possibility of the full ball, even when he is pushing them back consistently,” wrote Chopra for ESPNCricinfo.
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“In the middle overs he will look to use the bouncer as a wicket-taking delivery, because the lack of lateral movement in the air and off the surface won’t give him too many other wicket-taking options.
In the death overs, batsmen should be prepared for accurate yorkers, fast and slow bouncers, and lots of changes of pace, for that is how he operates in the last ten overs of an ODI,” Chopra wrote.
Watch out for Tahir’s googlies
“Like most successful modern legspinners, Tahir’s googly is quite effective. Since he bowls with a high-arm action, even his legspin doesn’t turn too much. While he does not impart much sidespin, he also bowls straight lines, and so it is difficult to score behind square on the off side or towards the point/covers region. The majority of runs scored against him come on the leg side, and that’s the part of the field the Indians should look to target too. Most of the Indian batsmen don’t sweep, and that’s not a bad thing against Tahir’s pace and trajectory. The safer bet is to play with the straight bat towards long-on or midwicket,” Chopra added.