Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Is Currently Test Crickets Most Effective Shot?

If I was to ask you what was the most effective shot in Test cricket at present, what would be your answer?

I am sure most would say Sachin Tendulkar's on drive or Ricky Pontings pull or the various varieties of Virender Sehwags mastery of mauling. All the answers offered would ultimately have the homage to aggressive instincts in batsmanship as its basis. That are so worshipped in the current age because of the intrusion that T20 has had on mindsets.

Skewed logic to me!

For, I have been more lateral in my view, and duly have focussed on defence as the perfect means of attack in this age. That has so been the basis of England's batting during their rise to the Test summit, and recent dominance

So my choice for best shot would be Ian Bell's 'Leave'. 

I am sure many view this as a preposterous notion because of the absence of scoring that it represents. Which is true, but think of the bigger picture with it's effect on the bowlers, and ultimately scoring. Seen in this view on the effect of the 'leave'

You are showing the bowler you are in complete control, even when the ball is misbehaving.

And the leave takes on a whole new symbol in the bowler’s mind: one where you are on top and there is little that can be done about it.

The success that goes with it is palpable because of the manipulation you have over the bowling. They know you won't gift them your wicket, and they have to bowl in a different manner to you. Which again you control with the further use of the leave to the point where they are merely reduced to bowl to you in a manner that you so desire.

So the initial short term conservative nature of the batting. As shown with the leave, will ultimately lead to the long term success with heavy scoring being facilitated

The proof in the pudding is seen in the 2011 figures

Ian Bell: 2011 average- 118.75- 5 centuries

Then away from the individual success it fosters. It also has a profound effect on the team. For the bowling becomes frustrated and tired, the shine comes off the ball reducing the threat of swing, and invariably scoring for others is made much easier. Due to the pressure that is reduced in their time at the crease.

Win/Win for all in the team, which is always a good recipe for success!


  1. The primary role of a batsman is to score runs and that of the bowler is to take wickets.

    To say the most effective shot for a batsmen is the 'leave' is equivalent to saying the best bowler's job is to bowl maidens (of the cricket variety of course!)

  2. I think the premise is made through what it creates. In this age patience, either it be in batting or bowling is in very small supply. So when you have that (as epitomised by the leave) invariably you will excel in the end