Monday, April 09, 2007

How to bat the slog overs: by New Zealand

New Zealand’s stunning assault on the Irish bowlers in the slog overs today came with many lessons for cricket teams aspiring to maximize the final stretch. When James Franklin joined Brendon McCullum in the 43rd over, their team was at a weak kneed 189 for 7. New Zealand desperately needed 200 and daylight on the board to seal the game against a highly embarrassing loss.

Both proceeded to add 71 in just over seven overs – and yet not until the 47th over did we see an all out slog shot from either batsmen.

Here is what I noted down after watching this extremely enjoyable performance.

DON’T panic. Instead of looking at the board and calculating how many runs you are short of a decent target, count the runs you are scoring and have some fun along the way.

DO run hard between the wickets. Singles and twos not only swell the total faster than you think but also allows the non-striker to feel engaged and productive. If one batsman has just come to the crease, it can help the newbie get his motor started. Besides you’ll also have the satisfaction of making Indian fans wince and cry in their remote controls every time they see you display fine running between the wickets.

DO exude quiet confidence without getting cocky. This New Zealand side has recorded all kinds of wins and done all kinds of terrific things on the field. Most importantly they’ve played to a man. Even a superstar like Shane Bond, who has a right to showboat, acts like a regular guy devoid of airs.

DO litter your batting order with left handers. In the event that you have a right-left pair at the wicket, you can capitalize in the slog overs because bowlers get all kinds of desperate and are wont to spray the ball around as they try their best to adjust their line.

DO hit the ball hard if you are going to slog. This is not the time to rely on timing the ball sweetly although that helps. Use brute force!

DON’T underestimate the importance of partnerships even in the last five overs. You don’t want to slow down the momentum by losing another wicket. A new guy has to adjust to the wicket, the bowling, the preferences and state of mind and body of his partner. That costs balls and in the slog overs, balls = runs.

1 comment:

Vikram V. said...

Preeety cool assessment... r the Indian Cricket pundits reading this????