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Technique Is King, Even In Instant Cricket

Technique may be for old-school or conservative but it always leaves the bowlers with fewer options to get the batter out.

Published: April 21, 2022 7:14 PM IST

By Jaideep Ghosh

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Technique is king. Irrespective of what you see, on TV or on the ground nowadays, the player who will rise is the one who has the ability to duck. (Twitter)

Even as Indian cricket goes through another jamboree of masala cricket in shape of the Indian Premier League (IPL), we try to decipher what leads to longevity in cricket. Reflexes, hand-eye coordination, sheer brute power? Bit of all that, but there is never going to be any doubt that one thing makes the biggest difference when it comes to the difference between a long career and a flashy one. Technique is king. Irrespective of what you see, on TV or on the ground nowadays, the player who will rise is the one who has the ability to duck. This is why Sunil Gavaskar is still recognised while Atul Bedade would leave scratching your head. The biggest names in cricket are the ones with technique — be it Gavaskar, Sachin.

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Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman or Virat Kohli. That is going to be a constant.

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Take a look at IPL 2022 and see who are the players who are succeeding. Jos Buttler is right up there, while KL Rahul is making waves as well. I can bet my non-existent pension that you won’t recall a reverse hoick from either in the three centuries that they have between them in IPL 2022.

The extravagant shots look great when they come off, but inevitably, the same fans would castigate the same batter if he holed out olaying it. Instant cricket has brought in improvisations, which are inevitable. Runs are runs, they could be pretty or ugly. But the difference is that a batter with prettier technique will get more of them.

Take Gavaskar. The senior readers would recall, he possibly had the tightest stance from among the contemporary players, and we firmly believe that he was the best technique-wise, including even the current players.

Dravid was a close second. His skill was as much in how he left the delivery, as he played it. The best leavers are still the best scorers, irrespective of the format.

Several young Indian players are applauded for their run-scoring abilities, but all of them leave the bowler hopeful. Rishabh Pant scores at a rapid pace, but any delivery angled across him and the aerial slash could well sail into the stands. But equally, it could land in the deep backward-point’s grateful hands. The perfect technique probably just leave the cricket ball alone. Or if runs were really needed, move towards the angle and play through the off-side, preferably along the ground.

All this may read as old-school or conservative. Sure. Equally, there will always be instances when he, or some of the others, will win massive matches for India, like he did in Australia. But the bowler will be more optimistic about snaring him than KL Rahul.

As they say, you can’t buy pace. A bowler either has it or not. Equally, technique comes to some naturally, while others have to hammer it out in the nets.

Talent can be honed and skills taught. Even technique can be coached, but some are born with it and they are the ones who rise above the rest. That’s why there’s only one Tendulkar, Laxman, or even Azharuddin. However, when it comes to sloggers, they are dime a dozen.

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Published Date: April 21, 2022 7:14 PM IST