Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Key Battles in SA | Part 4 | New Ball Contest

Junaid vs Alviro

Alvrio bats on off-stump a lot of the time and takes an off stump guard. This enables him to leave anything outside his eye line confidently and pick bowlers off for runs when they get a fraction too straight. Junaid has developed an inswinger and with his pace and control can expose the leg stump pole of Alviro. He could also, trap him in front with the ball straightening assuming Alvrio does not get a long stride in outside the line of the off stump or is forced having to play around his front pad with his head falling over. If Alviro reacts to the potential trouble caused we could see him counteract by taking more of a middle or leg stump guard and there’s a higher chance of him ‘nicking off’ and being less assured of where his off stump is, as a result of the change. When you try to correct one change in your game, it can often open up even more problems as Simon Hughes outlined with Trott’s slight decline over the last year or so. He was batting on middle stump and regularly trapped in front trying to work balls into his favoured on side areas. Bowlers adjusted by bowling straighter and targeting LBW and he was given the dreaded finger on quite a few occasions. Consequently, Trott adjusted to a leg stump guard and was less assured of where his off stump was which resulted in him nicking off. Similar situation might be the case with the Highveld Lions captain. Not just Junaid, the whole Pakistan seam attack need to maintain a full length to Alviro as he is a strong and commanding puller, perhaps Irfan is the exception to the rule if he plays as his natural length is understandably shorter.Misbah should leave the on side fairly vacant, encouraging Alviro to play his strokes and get across his stumps to bring LBW and bowled into play or even leg stride strangulation. However, at the same time you want to encourage Junaid to bowl an inswinger. Hence, you want some protection on the on side and getting the balance right will be important from Misbah’s point of view.

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