Bowlers need to be aggressive in T20, says L.Balaji

"The bowlers need to be aggressive, look for wickets in Twenty20 games. Containing the batsmen alone does not help since a side, if it has wickets in hand, can really launch into the bowling in the last six to seven overs." the former India paceman said.

Balaji said that its important for bowlers to look for wickets in Twenty20.   -  B.Jothi Ramalingam

Attack is the best option for bowlers even in a format where they are expected to restrict the flow of runs believes L. Balaji.

The former India paceman noted, “There are field restrictions in Twenty20 cricket, the boundary is in, rules favour batsmen and the bats are powerful. Even before the innings begins, the bowler is pushed into a corner. From there, he has to come out attacking to counter the odds.”

Tamil Nadu’s bowling coach was speaking to Sportstar after the team’s practice session here on Thursday.

He said, “The bowlers need to be aggressive, look for wickets in Twenty20 games. Containing the batsmen alone does not help since a side, if it has wickets in hand, can really launch into the bowling in the last six to seven overs.”

The State side’s pace trio of Aswin Crist, K. Vignesh and T. Natarajan, so impressive in the Ranji Trophy, will now have to adjust their mindset and methods to the demands of Twenty20 cricket in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament beginning here on Sunday.

Balaji observed, “The three are different bowlers. Crist hits the deck, Vignesh draws the batsmen forward to find the nick and Natarajan provides variety to the attack with his left-armer’s angle. Vijay Shankar too has been bowling his medium pacers effectively. It’s a good mix and I am sure they will adapt to the demands of the format.”

Twenty20 bowling is as much about mind as technique. “A lot of batting in Twenty20 cricket is about pre-determination. The batsman expects a particular delivery and he is already ready with a shot. It is here that the bowler needs to outsmart him,” said Balaji.

He added, “You need to bowl different deliveries, you cannot be predictable. A bowler requires to change the angles, use the crease, alter the pace on the ball, bowl different lengths if necessary.”

At the practise sessions, the Tamil Nadu bowlers were being asked to bowl in simulated conditions and situations. “We, for example, have five fielders on the off-side and ask them to bowl according to the field. Or we have some other fields and the bowlers have to adapt. Then we ask them to defend imaginary targets, bowl specific deliveries at specific areas. And we create different scenarios,” said Balaji.

Of course, the bowlers are trying out different balls such as the yorker just outside off, the quicker short-ball, and the slow bouncer.

Although all these deliveries were useful, Balaji said the old-fashioned length ball, much maligned in the Twenty20 format, still had its merits in the shortest format. “If there is assistance in the pitch early, conventional good length bowling gets you wickets. Later in the innings too, the length balls can be employed judiciously.”

‘Attack’ is Balaji’s bowling mantra even in the slam bang world of short ropes and big hits.

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