You are on page 1of 62

Plans for each batsman

Hi, I want to start by saying my name is Vinay Babla and I am a huge cricket and Delhi Daredevils fanatic. I truly believe we can win the trophy this year and I would like to offer my insights which will hopefully help make it happen. I have prepared this report because I am an avid cricket lover and watch/follow it a lot. I have watched a lot of the IPL too over the years. I particularly enjoy picking teams (fantasy cricket) + working out where the ball should go to dismiss a certain batsman and remembering certain ways of getting batsmen out, their weaknesses, strengths etc. + how they fare against particular bowlers. I believe I can offer some helpful insights and I have put a great deal of effort into this so I do really hope this is looked at and at least considered, even if ultimately ignored! I want to begin by discussing team selection and getting the best possible XI out onto the field. Before the WC, I had the team looking something like this: Vijay, de Kock, KP, manoj, duminy/neesham, DK, jadhav/saurabh/laxmi-ratan, coulter-nile, shami, sharma, unadkat I didn’t expect to tweak it too much and I would go as far as saying I got it spot on. Nothing in the world cup suggested I ought to change the line up. If I had to put out a definite XI tomorrow, it would look like this: Vijay, de Kock (wk), KP (c), Manoj, Duminy, Karthik, Jadhav, Coulter-Nile, Shami, Sharma, Unadkat I have been keeping an eye on Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy too and again there, I observe some consolidation of my picks. I believe in playing your percentages. There is no guarantee that these players will perform better than those on the bench on a particular day but on AVERAGE, you can sense and feel that a certain player is better and more likely to deliver on any given day. Hence you just pick the best players. Period. I don’t like the idea of compensation such as that to tweak a team drastically just because one person is out injured. For instance, in the play off game vs CSK, Irfan was injured and because DD thought the team had lost balance (Irfan wasn’t even contributing a great deal with bat or ball), they decided to drop Morne (purple cap holder, at least 8/10) for Russell (a 5/10), for the simple reason that he was an all rounder to achieve better balance. It was a preposterous decision but I hope my point is well made. Rank each player in the squad on ability out of 10 for the role they have (bat, ball or bat+ball). I don’t deny that all rounders are valuable in this format, but I may have devised a system for selecting the best side, assuming the ranking assigned to each player is correct. For instance, excluding form and just going by what I think of each player’s skill level, I would give the players the following ranking: Vijay – 7/10 De Kock – 7.5/10 KP – 8.5/10 Manoj – 6/10 Duminy – ((8 + 6)/2 = 14/2 = 7 + 1.5 (AR value)) = 8.5 <<< Genuine all rounder formula Karthik – 7.5 Jadhav – 6/10

Coulter-Nile – 8.5/10 Shami – 7/10 Sharma – 7.5/10 Unadkat – 6.5/10 The team with the greatest tally ideally should be picked. (obviously the roles within the team must also be ticked off) If someone is performing badly and not living up to their ranking, fair enough drop them for a lower ranked player but please pick the players who are most likely to succeed, on ANY GIVEN DAY. I was annoyed with the persistence of certain players in recent years and the constant ignoring for example of Pawan Negi (6/10 at least from what I saw, rarely let DD down) who I thought was a better bowler than certain seam bowlers who were being picked. We could’ve dropped a seamer who was lower ranked, and there were certainly 1 or 2 in the team who could’ve been dropped who had rankings of less than 6. One was ranked lower than 5 in my eyes. We could’ve played 2 spinners in Nadeem and Negi instead of packing our side with seamers (+ just 1 spinner) who had lower ratings and were less likely to deliver. Aside of that, I would like to credit Gary Kirsten for instructing for the baton to be raised that final time for de Kock. I think he is a fine player already and has the potential to be a great player in the future. Often teams don’t look at the auction as an investment in a player. They simply see a player at face value and pick them for what they are at the time rather than taking a bit of a risk and partly picking them on what they could become. I feel Kirsten must be credited hugely for that decision because he played it smart then. And of course, I hate to say it but DD refused to pick up Virat Kohli in the first year and are paying for that decision now. They had the opportunity to do it but opted for a significantly worse player because they were focussing too much on the present (getting a bowler instead) rather than looking into the future. It is looking like RCB wont ever let go of Kohli now and I guess that is the price to pay. Assuming de Kock makes a reasonable enough return on our investment in him, we could even do the same but that is looking a while ahead. I think we should really bear this in mind for the future auctions. Even go in for some Under 19 players who are tipped to become superstars and maybe hold onto them for a long time. There will be a really small price to pay for this initially and it is risky but the loss wont be too much, given they are unlikely to perform at the time and will therefore go for a very small amount. I guess such decisions are a while away though. Vijay, de Kock (wk), KP (c), Manoj, Duminy, Karthik, Jadhav, Coulter-Nile, Shami, Sharma, Unadkat I have reposted the team I picked because there are some issues with it which might hopefully be tackled. Talking about the batting first, I would say that generally speaking, 4 of the top 5 players tend to start off slow and give themselves the best chance to get their eye in. Excluding KP, all of them are known for seeing off a few balls early on and they try and pick up the rate later on in the innings. I don’t mind seeing de Kock doing it because he is capable of batting through and finishing with a good SR at the end of it. He seems to have found his style that gives him the best chance of performing for the team and the same is true of Duminy. I feel those 2 should be given the freedom to play that way. However, Vijay has shown he is capable of playing aggressively and getting the team off to a flyer. Im not expecting a 200+ SR from him consistently or anything but a SR of 130+ would be ideal given de Kock’s modus operandi. KP can get on with it and he is actually a great impetus for the team at number 3. Manoj is one to strike at around 100-120 and so he is fine for the

role of an accumulator. He can consolidate an innings if early wickets have fallen. Duminy as I said before can give himself the best chance by taking his time early on. That makes me question the batting position of Karthik but I can’t seem to find anywhere else to put him. He has batted at that position before for MI and even us and had some success there but maybe we need some injection into the innings earlier on. Jadhav etc.. will surely go for the finisher role and try and hit big, which is what is expected of them. Therefore, I feel maybe the need to propose an alternative team: Vijay, de Kock (wk), KP (c), Karthik, Duminy, Jadhav, Laxmi Ratan Shukla/Saurabh, Coulter-Nile, Shami, Sharma, Unadkat I know this is going against what I said earlier (about rating tally) but Manoj is not a genuine finisher of an innings and playing him early in the order is probably the only way to go. Having said that, it can kill the momentum of an innings and slow batting could leave too much to do later on. DK can be the injection we need coming it at number 4 for us, though it does leave us slightly light later on. I would say Shukla and Saurabh are probably both 5-5.5/10 but it is a move worth considering as leaving DK too late may leave our innings with very little momentum. Of course, there is the option to play the team before and use Manoj as a floater like CSK did with Badrinath and for him to come in during a crisis. If we are doing well though, DK could be promoted. These are all options that should be considered. A second issue I have is the allocation of overs. I have 5 bowlers with probably the single part timer in Manoj. I imagine KP might want to bowl but essentially, CN, Shami, Sharma are all good enough to bowl their quota of 4 overs. That leaves 8 overs for Unadkat and Duminy (or KP, Manoj). That is 8 overs of <7/10 which is sort of worrying. I think Duminy to be honest is very under rated and shouldn’t be messed around with. SA persisted with him in the first over many times in the T20 WC and should’ve known better I feel, especially given he had done nothing really in the tourney to merit being given it. So if Duminy is used wisely (despite being a right arm off spinner), he can give good return on his overs, particularly late in the tournament in India where there is a lot of purchase. He should be used mainly in the middle overs I feel and maybe brought on particularly for lefties. This is down to captain improvisation. As a result of the potential let up in bowling, I have proposed an alternative team. Vijay, Agarwal, KP (c), Manoj, Duminy, Karthik, Jadhav, Coulter-Nile, Parnell, Shami, Sharma In this team, there is Parnell who I deem to be a 7/10. He should be used cleverly though. He can sometimes get hit around at the death and has been taken for some pretty big overs in the past. To go with that, he often gets inswing with the new ball back into the right hander so he should maybe be given 1 over in the first 6, 2 in the middle (probably one early middle and one late middle) and then maybe one more at the death. Parnell tends to get people out caught on the boundary with variations such as sweeper deep cover, third man, deep midwicket etc.. so middle overs could be the way to go with him. Agarwal is there who is probably a 5/10 too but maybe someone else like Saurabh could be played and maybe say DK is opened. This is a more bowling orientated team but I still probably prefer the first team I posted. Another problem I have with the earlier team is the quality of some Indian domestic players. Manoj has been performing OK domestically as has Jadhav but Unadkat’s form has been quite worrying. I know what he is capable of so I have given him a 6.5/10 but if these Indian players who have been tried on a fair number of occasions are failing, then others such as Laxmi Ratan, Saurabh, Rahul

Shukla etc. should be tried. I guess that is the luxury of having good back up resources. Also, playing Laxmi Ratan means there isn’t total reliance on Duminy and Unadkat for their complete overs. He can bowl and make up some lost overs if others are having a bad day. I know in recent paragraphs I have contradicted what I’ve said with picking the highest rated team but there is role assignment which should be factored in. Agarwal has opened a lot before in the past for instance and other higher rated Indians such as Saurabh simply cant compete with him for that spot, and it would involve some tinkering e.g. DK moved up to open (something he isn’t used to), in order to get the higher ranked player in. So all things should be considered. Next, I plan on showing the ways I believe we can get certain batsmen out. What areas we should bowl to different batsmen at different stages of the innings + how we can therefore tactically beat sides. Obviously, there will be subtle variations on this such as angle of delivery (how tight in to the stumps the bowler delivers the ball which makes a slight difference) but it should be good enough to get my points across. I have included bowling for different stages of the batsman’s innings. 1) Early on in his innings 2) When he is set but you are unsure whether he will play a big shot or not 3) When you are certain/very confident he is going to have a slog If the image is left blank, either I have stated where it is identical to another one or I have nothing to suggest. Colour blue indicates where the ball should be frequently put at conventional pace. Yellow indicates mild frequency at conventional pace. Red indicates a possible odd delivery thrown in there at conventional pace. Green indicates frequent slower balls. Orange indicates odd delivery slower ball. Where overlap, it means either is possible. I don’t know the exact angles our bowlers will employ but I imagine Rahul and CN/shami will on average have the following. There shouldn’t be too much deviation from this for the other bowlers too. I have not done bowling for a spinner coming around the wicket (Duminy) or a left arm seamer coming over (Unadkat, Parnell) but if they bowl similarly accounting for angle adjustments, it should be fairly close enough. I realise there are those players who struggle more with certain angles than others but this is a general report and can be tweaked accordingly.

Naturally, Rahul will get a bit of turn away from the batsman so worth bearing this in mind. Also the other spinners don’t bowl quite as quick, which might affect the lengths. I was visualising Rahul Sharma for the most of it, who can get away with shorter stuff. So jp and nadeem should probably bowl a tad fuller. (JP will also have to adjust his line given he tends to bowl from around the wicket). The convention when someone is trying to slog/with death bowling is to get those Yorkers in, but for a lot of it I haven’t included them because it is obvious. Instead, I have offered the variety of areas that can be exploited when the batsman is looking to get after you. FE = fast early FSE = fast set FSL = fast slog SE = spin early SSE = spin set SSL = spin slog Also worth bearing in mind I will sometimes err slightly with the images as it is hard to imagine and visualise like this so I have tried my best to match them with descriptions. The descriptions are nice but the images put a visual aspect to it. I guess it isn’t quite the same as watching it on TV and its not happening as I see so there will be times where I err but Im confident for the most of it. Ideally, these are thoroughly verified, but you can trust these. I apologise in advance for any English mistakes and typos and given the length of this, I imagine a few may crop up.

Possible CSK line up: Brendon McCullum, Du Plessis/Smith, Raina, Aparajith, Dhoni, Bravo, Jadeja, Ashwin, Hilfenhaus/Badree, Pandey, Mohit Sharma,

FE – target stumps, can be vulnerable early on. Bowl good areas early on and if anything, err on the fuller side as he is more prone to making a mistake, might play an aerial shot, nick off or could trap him, always a chance

FSE/FSL – he likes it on the fuller side when he’s set and can play all these scoops etc. He also likes to charge to disrupt the bowler’s length, which is why I feel it could be a good idea to persist with a back of a length/shortish ball and he may even play this horrible tennis bat shot, im sure hes done it in the past! Could even put in an odd slower ball on a good length, could cause a huge mistimed shot SE – try and bowl fullish and target around off stump. He likes to charge as early on in his innings which is why I have allowed for some width, he was out stumped twice early on running past widish deliveries turning away in T20 WC. But there should be a degree of convention and could even slip in a googly and try and trap him lbw. Also slip in the odd shortish ball, could pick out a boundary rider with a pull. SSE – widish, trying to play hugely to his weakness, also on a good length/bit back of a length as he loves charging down the track SSL – again widish, with a slight further drop in length. Could even slip in the odd pretty wide one and even risk the wide for a potential stumping (if confident he will be charging)

FE – conventional bowling largely early on. However, be sure to put some widish ones in there, of varying lengths. Sometimes he struggles to keep both the front foot square drive and back foot cuts down and can get caught in the point region. Of course, there is always a chance of a nick with him playing away from his body too FSE/FSL – don’t like the idea of bowling on his legs or at his body, he is quite a strong leg side player. Conventional bowling again this time but with the idea of making him hit through the off side, he will no doubt try and move around his crease and manufacture a shot on the leg side SE/SSE/SSL – conventional bowling, can get bogged down and try something different (ie. Hit aerial) if we stick to basic line and length to him though, we give ourselves a good chance.

Note: Dwayne Smith probably does struggle with the seamers angling the ball across him (probably because it makes it harder for him to hit through his favoured leg side). Also, there is a pretty clear cut and simple way of doing things as I’ll explain below and as the images indicate. FE/FSE/FSL = Smith sometimes likes getting his eye in early on. He might play the patience game, get bogged down and hit his way out. But to be honest, it doesn’t matter what he does because we can kill off his scoring, completely. I believe back of a length just outside off is perfect. Good length bowling works as well but the line is key here. He loves playing short arm jabs and hitting over the top, we make it difficult for him by bowling outside off and also on the length where he struggles the most. If we stay off his pads and body, we have a great chance against him SE/SSE/SSL = Again, don’t get on his pads. He loves peppering the arc between deep square leg and long on with slog sweeps and swipes across the line. He will even try and fetch balls far outside off and hit them through there. Let’s make his life as difficult as possible by persisting with an outside off/widish line and cutting off his main scoring areas.

Note: with Raina obviously an off spinner coming around the wicket is always a good idea FE = early on he is very vulnerable with the ball on a good length or full as he is very tentative getting forward. He is not sure what to expect and so tends to hang back and this must be exploited as early on as possible FSE/FSL = back of a length is definitely the most common delivery that should be bowled to him. He has worked on the short ball a lot and since it is still a weakness, it ought to still be used but not with quite the same frequency as before. Back of a length is the best option I think. Raina loves it full/on a length when set SE/SSE/SSL = conventional bowling, he likes to improvise, use his feet, play these chip shots, if we stick to our guns and keep a good line and length, there is a good chance of a mistimed shot etc.. He likes peppering midwicket too so I have made the line slightly outside the off stump so he is forced to fetch it there, also if he wants to play his aerial inside out drive, he has to hit against the turn

FE = Always feel the best place to bowl to MSD early on is hitting the top of off stump. Also straightish targeting the pads is good but he is vulnerable early on with that area. Also, with a slip in place, hanging it outside off and asking him to drive is not a bad option (yellow). Finally, the red dot shows a short ball outside off which hopefully he tries to uppercut safely into third man’s hands. He has done it before and he may well do it again, risky though, hence use it rarely FSE = Again that short ball is present but now with MSD set, back of a length bowling is probably best to cut off his scoring FSL = if he’s trying to slog the best place to bowl is wide outside off so he struggles to get the desired leverage and power to hit to down the ground or even around to cow corner. I can imagine him hitting a full ball outside off straight down long off’s throat, it is hard to get that ball away. The slower balls are wider and ideally he will have to generate his own pace to drag them or when trying to hit them over the off side

SE = Fullish is probably the way to go when hes trying to build an innings, try and rap him on the pads, he likes taking his time early on, nurdling it around before an explosion, therefore full bowling could be the best way to go SSE/SSL = bowling slightly wider is the way to go + he will have to hit against the turn. He loves swinging the spinners between long on and deep midwicket so bowling that much wider will mean he will have to drag it if he wants to pepper those regions of the ground. It should make his task a lot harder with some width.

FE = Early on back of a length is a good idea but also full targeting his stumps and pads, he is quite vulnerable early on FSE = when set, I feel he is most vulnerable to back of a length bowling, he likes it fullish and hitting over the top and I recall this sort of bowling troubling him the most FSL = when he’s going for a slog, you can put with mild frequency a back of a length/short ball at his body because he likes playing these swivel pulls and is very vulnerable to picking out a fielder deep on the leg side. Also, he loves it full when going for a hit because of his timing and power, he is more comfortable. He likes hitting inside out through the off side and with his power, timing and flourish of shot, he is often able to hit over extra cover for 6. Therefore, by taking the pace of this ball, he will attempt the same thing but often these sort of shots to come off requires some pace on the ball at least. So taking pace off should mean he will be unable to generate sufficient power to get the boundaries and it also cuts out at lot of the ground SE = full/good length bowling, targeting his pads, vulnerable to straight ones hitting the stumps early on, prone to lbws as are most west Indians, don’t mind slipping a googly in there as well SSE/SSL = when the ball is full he likes to improvise, hit inside out, straight down the ground, I feel he isn’t quite so good off the back foot and struggles to generate as much power, therefore I feel we should bowl back of a length (maybe some even a bit shortish) and ask him to hit those, potentially some mishit pulls etc..

FE = Conventional bowling, don’t mind being on the wider side a tad. Also slip in the odd full fast Yorker, often fails to make contact FSE/FSL = Loves it on a length, so if we are going to bowl straightish, much happier if it is back of a length/short as more vulnerable to pulling, also if there is a bit of width on the back of a length/short balls not only does he sometimes fail to keep the cut down, he can play these little dink shots straight into third man’s hands. Also, love the idea of giving Jadeja width, he is far more comfortable peppering between long on and cow corner, we should make it difficult and try and get him hitting in different areas, he does tend to struggle with width SE = conventional bowling, loves using his feet as well so best to stick to a good line and length SSE/SSL = loves hitting the spinners towards cow corner and down over long on, especially if the ball is turning in to him, so have given width and also it is best if the length is dragged back too, harder for him to get to the pitch and go through with a shot if he wishes to charge + harder for him to collect boundaries in his favoured arc

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Aparajith – conventional bowling, saw a bit of him in U19 WC few years back, he tended then to play a lot of aerial drives and get caught at cover, length outside off maybe with some changes of pace could be the way to go Ashwin – his threat with the bat is increasing, good off the back foot, might be worth giving him some full stuff early on

Possible KXIP line up: Sehwag, Mandeep/Vohra, Pujara/Vohra, Bailey, Miller, Perera/Maxwell, Saha, Johnson, Kartik, 2 from Balaji/Sandeep Sharma/Dhawan/Awana

FE = if someone is out of sorts, conventional bowling ought to do the trick but in particular, one should err on the fuller side, really test their footwork etc. also trying to hit the stumps. Would stay away from width or body as cut and flick are probably the easiest shots to play when out of form FSE/FSL = don’t know why teams didn’t bowl more short stuff to Sehwag. He is a really poor puller/hooker and if given width, he plays the uppercut. That’s why I feel well directed short/back of a length should trouble him, he will likely top edge them SE/SSE/SSL = line is key here, any length but straight is the way to go. Keep it tight and the mistake will come, try and cut off his square play

FE/FSE = back of a length/short, both of them have problems with that length, bowl pulling and nicking off to the keeper FSL = still bowl the back of a length stuff with decent frequency but I reckon they will miss a lot of slower balls on a good/full length or worst case, mishit hit them, so put a few of them in there too, you miss I hit SE/SSE = like bowling on the fuller side to them but also worth putting in some variations, they like sweeping and going inside out so variations can be quite effective with those sort of shots, googly etc. SSL = love hitting in cow corner region and slogging across the line so bit of width on a good length/back of a length ought to do the trick

FE/FSE = conventional bowling largely but he is a very strong player through the leg side, prefers to hit through there, therefore im happy moving the line a decent amount to the off side, would rather give him width early on (ideally good length/full width) and there is a decent chance of a nick off FSL – conventional death bowling, loves hitting down the ground and midwicket though so factor that in SE/SSE/SSL = conventional bowling again but probably want to get on the fuller side to him, strong puller, so good length/fullish bowling might be the way to go, also notice again the line is a bit wide to cut off his strongest areas

FE/FSE = wide outside off, ask him to have a drive, often plays these aerial drives when driving on the up, good chance for a catch, also throw the odd slower ball in there, could stop on him and he could spoon a catch FSL = if its in the arc… steer clear of the arc, quite full and wide outside off angling across, could struggle to get under it, also some slower balls angled across him on a length, put the odd bouncer in there too SE = try and bowl tight, look to hit the top of off stump, often unsure whether to go forward or back and can get stuck, exploit this by bowling a tight length SSE/SSL = steer clear in the arc again, he is equally dangerous against spin, bowling a bit wider and short of a length is the way to go, if he wants to charge too, his life wont exactly be made easy

Note: Maxwell is a fair bit better player of spin than seam bowling FE = full early on is the way to go. He may want to get a sighter or slog from ball one but he is very vulnerable to the fuller ball early on in his innings. FSE/FSL = good length/back of a length is the way to go, he will try and swing as hard as possible and often loses his shape doing so, the best sort of bowling is back of a length ironically, he isn’t as successful and it is sometimes risky because he can get top edges etc. but I reckon he will sky some as well. Also you miss I hit slower balls, always has a slog so could prove his undoing, not enough pace on the ball + deception. Maxwell has improved though, so the jury is still somewhat out on these

SE/SSE/SSL = Maxwell only knows one way to play spin: attack. He often just plants down his front foot and has a big heave. He particularly likes swinging to cow corner and deep square but I have decided to bowl a bit straight to him because he is susceptible to missing them and therefore getting bowled. The key is length here: you’d rather bowl just back of a good length because if gives you the best chance. Also, hes not a bad puller but you’d rather he pulled you than just slogged you into the crowd because he is far more effective with that shot, therefore good length/just short of a good length is the way to go. Also, he loves playing these reverse sweeps etc, which is even more reason to bowl these lengths

Note: pretty much identical to bowling to Jadeja, just adjusted early bowling slightly so as to well and truly avoid getting into his arc (slightly adjusted Jadeja’s bowling details too) FE = Conventional bowling, don’t mind being on the wider side a tad. Also slip in the odd full fast Yorker FSE/FSL = Loves it on a full/on a length, so if we are going to bowl straightish, much happier if it is back of a length/short as more vulnerable to pulling. Also, love the idea of giving Perera width, he is far more comfortable peppering between long on and cow corner, we should make it difficult and try and get him hitting in different areas, he does tend to struggle with width SE = conventional bowling, stick to a good line and length, if anything err shorter than fuller

SSE/SSL = loves hitting the spinners towards cow corner and down over long on, especially if the ball is turning in to him, so have given width and also it is best if the length is dragged back too, harder for him to get to the pitch and go through with a shot if he wishes to charge + harder for him to collect boundaries in his favoured arc Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Pujara – can only recommend conventional bowling, line and length, I think Pujara might get bogged down (even though his role will be to bat through) and go for a big hit, which should lead to a few mishits, we can then take one of the chances he provides Saha – maybe bowl some short stuff to him, otherwise conventional bowling Johnson – nothing full/fullish to him I feel, that is his arc where he just swings his arms very very freely

Possible KKR line up: Gambhir, Uthappa, Pandey, Kallis, Pathan, Shakib, Das, Chawla, Narine, Morkel, Yadav/Vinay

FE = cramp him for room early on, he is vulnerable to nicking off with both the full ball driving + the little dink he plays to third man to collect a single, his go to shot. Therefore we must bowl straight to him, he also has a few drag ons hence the fullish bowling. Don’t get too straight because he is good with a little flick off his legs/hips and don’t get too wide, he is a great cutter and usually capitalises on width. He also like coming down the track early on and hitting inside out so straight bowling with the angle is good FSE/FSL = again some more back of a length stuff, hopefully some nicking off/mishit pulls or slogs and also there are straight slower balls, because he likes charging and is susceptible to being deceived by them, either through the shot too early and mistiming it or just being clean bowled altogether

SE = likes advancing and hitting to cow, particularly with the ball turning in, therefore decided to drop the length a bit, but also good cutting so be sure not to get too short and wide SSE/SSL = will enjoy hitting with the turn, put it slightly wider so he has to fetch it from far outside off, a good cover driver he is too but doesn’t generate quite as much power and also goes aerial with them so good chance of getting a wicket

FE = conventional bowling largely but both batsmen (Uthappa in particular) like running the ball down to third man off of a back of a length/shortish ball and so the area in yellow ought to be tried out with mild frequency… FSE/FSL = simple conventional death bowling SE/SSE/SSL = straight bowling in good areas, they tend to get bogged down by spin, both will try something drastic and give chances

FE = fancy bowling on the full side to Kallis now, early on, test his reflexes, footwork FSE = if set, resort to good length/back of a length, kallis is one to get bogged down, let him make the mistake FSL = again, similar bowling, just throw in the odd slower ball aimed at the stumps, I can imagine Kallis way early in his swing and getting bowled SE/SSE/SLG = Kallis one to get bogged down by spin too. Bowl conventionally at any stage but worth throwing in the odd short ball, he has a tendency to pick out a boundary fielder on the leg side

FE = for a batsman who struggles with anticipation and has an obvious short ball weakness, full early on is the best chance as he will be tentative coming forward and many different methods of dismissal on the cards, also get some short balls in there FSE/FSL = largely straight bowling, back of a length and short of a length, because that is the sort of bowling he struggles with the most, also get in the odd fuller ball hitting the stumps, with his head all over the place, good chance of a wicket SE/SSE/SSL = avoid his arc at all costs, don’t get it in the arc as he tends to swing his arms freely, if youre going to stray, better to drop back in length as full/fullish is his main hitting area, good length/back of a length is probably the best bowling here

FE/FSE = try and hit the top of off, he is very vulnerable around the off stump region early on in his innings, also the angle presents a good chance of a nick, so keep it on a good length/on the fuller side, also these tactics are probably worth persisting with even when he’s set, shakib not the biggest hitter, shouldn’t punish us too much FSL = use the angle to push it across him, no doubt that shakib isn’t the biggest hitter and while he favours mid wicket (we can cut that off with the angle) he also loves playing these paddle sweeps etc, by using the angle, we can make his life difficult here as well SE = conventional bowling, slightly on the fuller side if anything, less risk given shakib’s caution early on and also that fact that he isn’t a big hitter SSE/SSL = moved it slightly wider and dropped the length back ever so slightly, he loves hitting across the line to that leg side, hurting his chances by persisting with a widish line on a good length

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Das – an extravagant player who likes playing his shots, short balls and slower balls could work well with him, also with spin maybe some extra flight to induce him into playing the big hits Chawla + Narine – both like good slogs between the long on and cow corner region, try and cut off these areas, so bowling wide outside off or angling across them is a good thing, for both seamers and spinners, try not to allow them to swing to that arc between long on and cow, try and get them hitting through the off side, it will cut off their run scoring and also bring a good chance of a wicket

Possible MI line up: Hussey, Tare, Rohit Sharma, Rayudu, Pollard, Anderson, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Malinga, Bumrah, Ojha

FE = straight to him, hitting top of off and there abouts, very vulnerable early on with fullish bowling around top of off, prone to lbw, misjudgement and nicking off, angle taking it away too, he tends to struggle with this a lot, try and nip it off the seam too, he has struggled with bowlers who get seam movement and a bit of extra bounce, odd one short and wide, sometimes hits the cuts straight to point FSE = moved the line slightly wider, loves hitting through the leg side, particularly deep mid wicket, he is a good driver though and be sure not to get too wide, length bowling should be fine

FSL = I remember him saying in a special once that when he wants to pick up the scoring he looks to hit the seamers in 2 places: cow corner and covers. Therefore, I suggest conventional death bowling with Yorkers (maybe even targeting his pads) and making it difficult for him to pick out those 2 areas of the ground SE = full bowling to him early on is a great idea, he doesn’t look to smash the ball too early on and will pick his balls but if anything, he is more vulnerable to the fuller spin bowling SSE/SSL = adjusted the line and length to account for his main hitting areas, moved the bowling slightly wider and also on a shorter length to make it hard for him to pepper his favourite cow corner region, he is a good cutter though, so line is sort of key here as well

FE = full outside off, widish, making him play away from his body, he is very very vulnerable there early on, exploit this FSE = back of a length just outside off, will use his feet and charge and try and adjust the length, worth persisting with it, sometimes like running the ball down to third man so prone to nicking off FSL = conventional death bowling SE/SSE/SSL = not a great deal of weaknesses, if anything bowling straight at him on a good length with the ball coming in if possible (googly maybe), struggles more with ball going straight on/coming back into him

Note: very similar bowling to Rohit Sharma FE = on a length/full outside off early, with some width too is not a bad idea, vulnerable to nicking off his drives and also playing them aerial, picking out a cover fielder for instance FSE = straight bowling, good length/back of a length, don’t like the idea of giving him width when set, good square of the wicket FSL = conventional death bowling SE/SSE/SSL = straight/bit widish bowling, likes to use his feet and charge the spinners and hit them down the ground, also likes hitting inside out, stick to your guns and keep it tight, nice tight lines and lengths

FE = good areas early on, he is very vulnerable early on to nicking off, had a duck season a while ago, proves exactly that, persist with good areas to him up front FSE = I like the idea of bowling at him, as in into his body, he is far less comfortable with this style of bowling, cant get the angles to smash bowlers down the ground which is what he is so comfortable doing, bowling at him of varying lengths when set is a good idea FSL = full on his pads is not a bad idea as is good length/back of a length on his body because he is forced to hit square of the wicket on the leg side which is what he hates doing and it is a bit risky but if the ball goes in the air, it is more likely to pick out a fielder than someone in the crowd than if he is hitting straight down the ground, so essentially cramp his down the ground hitting, also some slower

balls (ideally well disguised) has made a mockery of him in the past and often struggles to make contact so I have made this straighter so there is a good chance of dismissing him. Also there is wide bowling, again forcing him to hit through the off side and killing off his down the ground hitting, much harder task to hit that bowling long off/long on SE = fullish/good length, know its risky to get in his arc but worth taking that risk early on because he sometimes prods forwards with his pads and there is a good chance of getting lbw (even caught keeper), also throw in some variations and they could be the undoing of him SSE = dropped the length back a bit, really avoiding getting in his arc, that is where he absolutely loves it, really avoid getting full, easy meat for him when set SSE = again, there is good length/back of a length bowling but there is also wide bowling which, if you know he is going to have a slog, worth doing as he has to hit through the off side (also loves hitting spinners down the ground too), so if you keep it widish, there is every chance of him miscuing/not getting enough power and picking out sweeper on the cover boundary

Note: Corey Anderson, like a lot of foreigners on their first few subcontinent visits, will probably be far more uncomfortable facing spin than pace, worth bearing this in mind FE/FSE/FSL = the only thing I can really suggest with Anderson is staying off his body or anywhere straight to him, exploit the angle and cut off his biggest scoring area (cow corner), just keep angling it across him and say, if u want to score your boundaries, youre going to have to hit me through the off side SE/SSE/SSL = again, steer clear of his pads or straight to him, he will try and slog it anywhere between long on and deep square leg, that is the best thing you can do, force him to hit where he is most uncomfortable, also worth slipping in some variations because they could prove his undoing on these surfaces

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Tare – bowl full to him, will play his shots so every chance of hitting the timber, he likes trying to clear the field, so slower ball every now and then can help and induce a mishit, fast bouncer could also work, he likes to play his shots. conventional spin bowling ought to be fine. Harbhajan – he has proven to struggle a lot against short deliveries in the past, highly recommend short bowling to him, otherwise full and wide outside off as he loves hitting straight down the ground, conventional spin Zaheer – against pace bowling he backs away a lot, therefore full/hitting the stumps should do the trick, has worked against him a number of times in the past, also don’t bowl spin full to him, he is particularly good when its in his arc, much worse when out of it

Possible RR line up: Rahane, Chand, Watson, Samson, Binny, Hodge, Cutting/Steve Smith, Faulkner, Bhatia, Kulkarni, Tambe

Note: against the seamers, Rahane is far more uncomfortable with the ball angling across him FE = bowl straight to him, very tight lines and lengths, around top of off or just over FSE = again similar bowling, keeping it tight, but throw in the odd good length/back of a length slower ball

FSL = likes charging, therefore restricted the amount of full bowling, keeping it back of a length, also bowling frequent good length/back of a length slower balls, not the biggest hitter, needs to generate his own power, likely to swipe it to a fielder in the deep on the leg side SE/SSE/SSL = bowling very straight to him, loves hitting inside out over extra cover/cover, also like keeping it full to him, making him drive and mishit a chip or something, also a shortish ball to him, sometimes doesn’t know what to do with it and might play it tamely

FE = really like the idea of giving shane Watson width early up, had lbw problems, adjusted his technique and that has hurt his driving outside off somewhat, susceptible to nicking off, also likes to run it down to third man off a good length/back of a length and vulnerable to nicking off there too, decent amount of width is the way to go for Watson, also stick the odd one up there, lbw problem still exists FSE/FSL = can persist with some width later on but conventional bowling has to be the way. Could also stay off straight and off his body and hopefully rest falls into place

SE/SSE = have to be very tight to him, small margin for error, has a big hitting zone because he can lunge forward and smash the full balls but is also quite severe on the short ball, because of his reach just back of a length should be persisted with. SSL = when trying to slog, again persist with the same areas but also put some a bit wider as he is always looking to smash the bowling towards cow and long on, ask him to hit the wider deliveries to the same region and he will no doubt try and fetch them from out there, hopefully there is a miscue

FE/FSE = just outside off stump, vulnerable there, can put it fuller and ask him to have a drive, prone to nicking off, also can put it back of a length, always a chance of nicking off and even dragging on, really worth testing his off stump FSL = conventional bowling SE/SSE/SSL = likes hitting inside out, stick to tight lines and lengths though, conventional bowling ought to do the trick

FE/FSE = cant do anything more than bowl really good areas, if anything drop a bit back of a length, but good player and finisher, must keep it tight FSL = full and wide outside off stump, make it hard for him to reach, can scythe it through off side but I feel that is the best bet, also slower balls on a good length/full should be tried as well, fuller bowling to him should generate mistakes when trying to slog SE/SSE/SSL = tight conventional stuff, give slight bit of width, also drop the odd one in back of a length/short, hodge is prone to hitting his cut shots in the air straight to fielders

FE = good areas up front, bowl just outside off to him, but he loves his drives early on, can nick off, therefore put a few in the yellow region FSE = good length areas outside off, not the biggest hitter, make him do something different if he wants to up the scoring, strong off his body, stay away from there FSL = full slower balls, again not the biggest hitter, has to generate his own pace, also likes playing these paddle sweeps etc so slower balls could prove difficult for him, also there is again that good/back of a length region SE/SSE = try and hit the top of off, also good chance of lbw SSL = likes charging when hitting the spinners and smashing them down the ground, therefore drop the length back to a good/back of a length and ask him to hit off there, miscues certainly on the cards

Note: Faulkner is stronger against pace than spin FE = full early on is the way to go, he doesn’t have the best of techniques and always a great chance of snaring him early on FSE/FSL = wide line is the best I feel, he loves hitting across the line, also chuck in the odd slower ball straight SE/SSE/SSL = conventional bowling is all I have to say here

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat/I don’t know a great deal about: Chand – bowl very straight to him, the few matches he had for DD last year he was cleaned up by straight deliveries with maybe a hint of nip back, also recommend the odd short ball, it has been his undoing in the past as well Binny – hits the ball very hard, reckon changes of pace could be the undoing of him, also mixing up the length, get in the odd bouncer and Yorker Cutting – huge hitter of a cricket ball, stay clear of length to him, avoid length bowling/slot bowling, if we get it wrong, he can punish us, might be worth trying spin against him, might struggle a great deal given his lack of exposure, seems far more comfortable against seam bowlers with ball coming on Bhatia – fancy changing pace to him a lot, false strokes should come, also chuck in the odd bouncer, keep him interested

Possible RCB line up: (this is the team I have been waiting for the most, the team we can tactically destroy) Gayle, Patel, Kohli, Yuvraj, AB, Zol, Albie Morkel, Starc, Dinda, Jakati, Aaron

Note: Gayle often takes his time early on and sees off good bowling. The thing is, he is a great league player because he waits for the weaklink/someone bowling bad in the opposition and tries to target them for a lot of runs and thereby get on a roll. If we maintain high quality bowling (which we are capable of doing with CN, shami, Rahul and co.) to him for as long as possible + bowl to our plans, it stands us in great stead, we should snare him either cheaply or with a bad SR. He can be quite dominating and its high time teams did something about it. Also Gayle has his pitches, last year he was incredible at home on the Bangalore pitch but did nearly nothing away from home, bear this in mind

FE/FSE = early on angle across him, keep it back of a length and try and make him play as much as possible. If you can do a bit off the seam or get a bit of swing then even better. This is Bhuvneshwar’s MO and why he has dominated him in the past. Early on try not to get too much in his arc and if you do, try and make sure it’s on the wider side and really angling across him, get him hitting through the covers, good chance of a nick or an aerial drive, slip in the odd short ball as well, keep him interested, don’t feel teams have done that enough to him in the past FSL = again, odd short ball is present as is the odd Yorker, try and get the Yorker hitting leg stump, he sometimes falls over and gets into a tangle and that is the line to bowl. Also slower balls on a good length outside off angling across, might get caught in two minds, sky a mishit. I feel disguise is ideal with the slower balls though. Also wide full bowling angling across him, struggles to get the angles right and clear the ropes with such bowling, good chance of a boundary catch and there is always the nick off SE = avoid his arc at all costs. I know its early on in innings but still, the margin of error is small. With gayle, you know if you get it full, he will just plant his foot and smash you over your head/mid wicket. Get it very slightly short of a good length and I would rather see him pull us into the stands to be honest, he might also try and use his feet and run past one, keep a nice tight length is the way to go early on though, he can get bogged down and might try something different SSE/SSL = keep a similar length but give it some width, cut off his slogging down the ground or to cow corner. Also sometimes, bowl it on his pads, he often turns it to square leg if its on his pads rather than try and hit a big shot, that could be a good option. also its hard to get the leverage so bowling there might be a good idea. Also, a wide full one is always a good option, ask him to hit through the covers, though it does come with slight risk given his power. Must be an option though

FE/FSE = don’t give him any room or get too straight, he is a very good flicker and cutter, keep it as tight as possible, he might even give the charge, stick to your guns FSL = again, similar bowling at the death but also put some slower balls in there, doesn’t really have a lot of power and seems easily deceived. I feel they should be bowled straight too, try and hit the timber SE = bowl straight again, cramp him for room as best as possible SSE/SSL = bowl it outside off I feel, he loves his sweeps and also given he is lacking somewhat in power, I am happy bowling it up there and with some flight too, try and get him hitting the big shots and trap him that way

FE = on a good length outside off, don’t get straight to him as he’s very strong off his pads and body, get him nibbling just outside off, also put in the odd wide one, virat likes feeling bat on ball early on and wide on a length outside off is something he’ll probably chase and decent chance of a nick, also throw in the odd bumper FSE = ironically, virat is probably weakest when the ball is bowled full outside off/honing in on off stump, sometimes his technique falls apart and we can capitalise on this FSL = really hard to stop when he wants boundaries. The best thing to do is probably at normal pace bowl as full and wide outside off as possible. We can also bowl slower balls ranging from good length to full with some width

SE = early on, some sort of convention to the bowling, tight lines and lengths, not the worst thing if you drag one down, virat has sometimes failed to keep the pull shot down and maybe it might take something like that to dismiss him SSE/SSL = when set, bowl possibly a bit straighter to cramp his down the ground and inside out hitting, and drag the length back, he likes charging down the track and does like peppering mid wicket in search of a maximum but the length would surely require him to come down the track, hopefully he is in a few minds with that particular line and finds himself in a mess, also I have that odd short ball in there as well

Note: Yuvraj is far weaker with the ball turning away from him than the ball turning into him FE/FSE = early on try and hit the top of off or get it just outside and try and nick him off, ideal bowling straight to him though and ive given a variety of lengths. Also slip in the odd Yorker early on, ideally on off stump as he tends to play across the line to it and also put in the odd short ball FSL = cut out his leg side scoring entirely, make use of the angle, push it across him all the time, ideally full outside off and ask him to hit through the off side to collect his runs SE = out of sorts so full bowling even a bit straight with the ball turning in is viable, even though it is going into his arc, maybe put some variety in there, googly etc. get as close to an off spinner as possible maybe SSE/SSL = bowling across him, outside off, making it very difficult for him to fetch it over to cow corner or even long on

Note: some similarities with bowling to Kohli FE = again, outside off is probably the place to bowl, on a good length, get in the odd one wide as AB sometimes nicks off early when chasing a wide one (particularly off seamers who get extra bounce, could go cross seam), also throw in the odd bumper FSE = conventional bowling, keep it length/back of a length FSL = a variety of things here, one is to bowl very full and wide outside off, AB loves playing the reverse sweeps and sweeps and it is very hard to hit these balls, also few back of a length balls at normal pace could be good, given AB’s tendency to charge the seamers every now and then, also a

few slower ball fullish or on a length because he loves charging and also because there might not be sufficient pace on the ball to play the sweeps etc. also, throw in the odd Yorker at leg stump ideally SE = straight, tight lines and lengths, sometimes bad on the short ball, throw one in there early, has a tendency to pick out a boundary rider with a pull shot SSE/SSL = drop the length back a bit, far harder for him to hit this sort of bowling, also a few short balls wouldn’t go amiss, it is a genuine weakness of his

FE = back of a length bowling using the angle, also get in the odd Yorker ideally at off stump FSE/FSL = odd Yorker there again but also a few full balls there, its dangerous but he is quite prone to missing those, also few back of a length balls again and full wide bowling to go with it SE/SSE/SSL = loves hitting towards midwicket, taking that out of the equation with some width, also not getting full into his arc, good length/back of a length should do the trick

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Zol – havent seen too much of him, but dont think he hits the ball too hard, conventional bowling will do, with the field back too, he should struggle to get the quick runs required Starc – full angling across him, I really like the idea of angling the ball across Starc, he can be weak there and he likes hitting straight and peppering midwicket so angle it across him outside off, if the bowler is coming around the wicket, then dont mind giving width, so long as you stay away from that slot

Possible SRH line up: Dhawan, Finch, Warner, Ojha, Venugopal Rao, Sammy, Karn Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mishra, Steyn

FE/FSE/FSL = strong driver, much more uncomfortable with good length and back of a length stuff angling across him. Also sometimes struggles to keep his cuts down so angle present to force that error. Also put in the odd short ball, he is not a particularly good player of the short ball. SE = straight and full bowling early on, likes driving through the off side and hitting through midwicket and sweeping but this must be done because is vulnerable to lbws through prodding forward or missing a sweep SSE/SSL = adjusted it to be wider and slightly shorter in length, should cut off some of his productive areas

FE = vulnerable early on with straight bowling, on a good length hitting top of off is great bowling to him early on but also back of a length straight, sometimes nicks off FSE/FSL = back of a length bowling the whole way, when set loves it full/in his arc, cut of his scoring by just persisting back of a length, would rather compensate on the short side than go full SE = again loves full bowling, keep it on a good length/just back of with a straight line early on SSE/SSL = moved line slightly wider and shorter, likes hitting long on and cow corner

FE = generally struggles most with the ball angling across him, sometimes those with extra bounce on a length/back of a length, therefore try some cross seam balls angled across him. Also try a back of a length ball on his hips, sometimes he gets tangled up and ends up skying it, also try a full and wide one angled across, prone to nicking off FSE = making use of the angle again, good solid areas, if he wants to hit, he can hit it off that length FSL = slower balls straight on a length could work, tends to back away and make room, could sky again, also full and wide bowling angled across, cutting off his much favoured leg side SE = straight and tight, cramping him for room, he loves to make room and try and cut it through the off side, always a chance of getting him clean bowled, also the line and length might entice him into playing a slog out to cow corner, good chance of a skier SSE/SSL = good length/back of, also a bit of width, getting him to fetch the deliveries

FE = back of a length/short pitched bowling, still would like to stay out of his arc, also bowl a few Yorkers early on, he isn’t looking to go as big early on, so not likely to punish them too much if you get it slightly wrong , good chance of getting him FSE/FSL = back of a length bowling again, stay completely out of his arc, if he wants to hit down the ground which is his favoured area, he’ll have to hit that bowling, also full and wide outside off and slower balls wide too, cut out his down the ground scoring completely, really wouldn’t risk getting those Yorkers in, miss your mark slightly and he will most definitely punish you SE = fancy bowling on a good length and straight to him, feel he can be vulnerable early on but there is danger in that you can err into his arc, which is what he waits for when batting, the ball in his arc SSE/SSL = dragged length back, also a bit of width, generally much poorer facing this bowling than the full stuff

Others who might play but don’t pose a great threat with the bat: Ojha – conventional bowling should work, back of a length outside off ought to do the trick, try not getting too full to him, thats when hes in his element, try and err back of a length/short Venugopal rao – not a huge hitter, more of a nurdler and accumulator, loves sweeping and using his feet to spinners and prefers playing spin, therefore drag the length back a bit, with seamers, bowl conventionally, doesnt seem a good puller so try get some short ones in there, worth bearing in mind hes far more comfortable against domestic players than international ones Karn Sharma – not the biggest hitter, conventional bowling should do the trick, maybe changes of paces and odd short ball Irfan Pathan – conventional bowling, struggles to play the big shots, loves the midwicket boundary but also tends to pick fielders out there, dont mind length/back of a length to him and try and keep it straight/just outside off Bhuvneshwar Kumar – like changes of pace here, he has struggled with it in the past I recall

Hope this report has helped! :)