Why is there an urge to play the cricket ball outside the off-stump? The two contradictory forces at work…

There is huge hype around the upcoming India tour to South Africa. The media is trying to cash in with continuous stream of advertisements. The Sony Six is trying to invoke nationalistic feelings resulting in an advertisement which is really bad in taste. I mean just treat it as a game.

Anyways, came across this nice interview of Sachin Tendulkar. He gives many insights from his long career.  For instance, he explains how the urge to play the ball outside the off-stump is two forces at work:

And the urge to tinker with a delivery that’s moving away from the batsman early on in the innings, to move outside the line and play the new ball… it often costs the top order heavily. How does one control that?

There’s a secret to this: A good batsman will always see to it that his hands are close to him. And a good bowler will always see to it that he gets the batsman to move his hands away from the body. Both exactly work the opposite of each other and that’s where the plotting begins. The closer your hands remain to your body will mean you’re using your feet, which in turn is what your mind is telling you, to move closer in line of the ball. If the feet don’t move, but the batsman tries to move in line with the ball, then the upper body begins to compensate for that movement. That’s where it gets tricky. How you settle down into that rhythm is the key.

Explains the whole process really well.

Abut different cricket balls:

Even if pace-friendly wickets are laid out (in India), it’s still a different ballgame playing in South Africa or England or Australia…

In India, the new ball is important but the crucial phase for a batsman begins from the 18th to the 20th over, if it’s an SG ball, and until the 40th to 50th over it’s a very dangerous phase. If the wicket is flat, the ball reverse swings during these overs. The ball will swing later too, but it is likely to swing at a different pace. It’ll also reverse swing at 70 overs, but the batsman can adjust because you get the time. Now, what happens when you play abroad? Away from our conditions, the first 25 overs get critical. The new ball and the movement it gets, that’s the crucial phase for a sub-continent batsman touring overseas.



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