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The fading art of picking the ball

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Roar Rookie
4th May, 2020
5

Spin bowlers over the years have enjoyed a significant command over batsmen, despite being in the shadow of the mighty pacers, who always stole the attention.

The reason for this ruthless dominance can be attributed to the sheer amount of skills possessed by the spinners. The fact that the top three Test wicket-takers are spinners highlights the dominance of spinners in the cricketing world.

Spin bowlers over the years have developed a unique blend of skills and variations.

Spin bowlers are historically known to have troubled the mightiest of batsmen. While the majority of the batsmen have had their share of dismay against spin bowling, some have mastered the subtle art.

Subcontinent batsmen have always been better players of spin in comparison with other countries.

This was not just because of the rank turners that they play in but also because of their mindset in tackling spin.

The key is and has always been simple. It’s about picking the variation from the bowler’s wrist. It’s the art of watching the bowler’s wrist to pick the trajectory of the ball.

This art nullifies the impact of spin as it prepares them for the spin even before its delivery.

It’s the good old way of tackling the spin, which was heavily used by the batsmen of the 90s and early 2000s. This art which almost was an obligation for every budding batsman in the late 90s clearly seems to be fading away in the modern-day.

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The inability of the modern-day batsmen to pick the ball from the wrists is what contributing to their struggle against spin.

Even the subcontinent players, who are otherwise known to have a better skill against spin, often succumb to spin due to their inability to pick the ball.

Surprisingly, the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are also no exception to this as they are some of the oft-dismissed batsmen against wrong-uns.

Modern Pakistani and Indian batsmen have displayed their weaknesses against spin on several occasions.

The fading of this art perfectly correlates with the advent of T20 cricket. The struggle becomes clearly visible with the modern-day batsmen emphasising more on slogging the ball rather than nudging it as nudging it would require a better skill.

The fading of this art has turned the tables for the spinners, especially for the ones who can spin either way.

The struggle against spin is likely to continue for further more years until the game sees another Shane Warne or Murali, which will then likely force the modern batsmen to get their basics right against spin.