Cullinan to Indian batsmen: Keep your head still and bat close to body

Former South African batting ace Darryl Cullinan believes the Indian batsmen would do well to cut the additional movement around the crease in Australia.

Former South Africa batsman picked Kane Williamson as the most complete batsman in present times.   -  FILE PHOTO/ S. DINAKAR

Former South African batting ace Darryl Cullinan believes the Indian batsmen would do well to cut the additional movement around the crease in Australia.

“You got to be sure-footed. Head has to be still and the bat close to the body," he told Sportstar ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

The South African explained, “And you have to play the ball as it is released. No predetermined movements. And your feet movement has to be according to the length of the ball.”

READ| Indian team indulges in wrestling-like drill, Jadeja put through fitness test

Cullinan, now the director of coaching in M.S. Dhoni’s cricket academy at the SRMC’s Sports Medicine Centre here, observed, it was the position of the batsman when the ball was released that held the key.

“You could have a totally different stance like that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. But when the ball was being released, he got into a good side-on position,” he said.

READ| BCCI appoints Chetan Sharma as chief selector; Abey Kuruvilla and Debasish Mohanty in panel too

Cullinan observed, “Cricket is a side-on game. If you are side-on when the ball is being released, you generally get yourself into good positions. Balance is the key to good batting. If you are balanced, your head is still.”

The South African noted, “Even if the batsman had a trigger movement, it must be small.”

Cullinan said the best batsmen stood still at the point of release and did not commit themselves. “It is the length of the ball that determines their movement. So they do not get caught out at the crease.”

The South African said, “You don’t want your hands moving too much, the head moving too much. You got to be compact to make the target area smaller for the bowler.”

READ| BCCI yet to take a stand on Los Angeles Olympics

Among contemporary batsmen, Cullinan picked New Zealand’s Kane Williamson as the most complete player. “He is composed and his movements are minimal and just what the delivery requires.”

Cullinan went on, “And, apart from the ability to leave the ball, he picks the line very well, the deliveries that are outside his eyeline, has a sound defence and can play all the strokes.”

The South African added, ”You see he uses the depth of the crease so well. He waits for the ball to come to him, plays it late and plays it close to his body.”

The South African named maestro Sachin Tendulkar as the most complete batsman of all times. “Technically, he was the master. His movements were measured and in keeping with the length and he was so balanced.”

He said, “Tendulkar moved quickly, and he moved only once. He was decisive whether going forward or backward. He could see the ball early and play it as late as possible.”    

Cullinan said, “All great batsmen use the crease. They go right forward or are right back.”

The South African also said apart from good technique the Indians had to display intent in Australia. “You have to be sound off the back foot. And you got to cut and pull.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :