Mohammad Nabi: ‘I try to read batsmen’

The Sunrisers Hyderabad off-spinner says reading the batsman well and adjusting to the pitch are key to his success.

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi feels the dot balls can force batsmen to make mistakes.   -  K.V.S. GIRI

 

Different strokes for different folks. If Chris Morris believes in constantly pursuing wickets, Mohammad Nabi believes in creating pressure via dot balls.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad off-spinner enjoyed his second fruitful outing in a row in the Indian Premier League on Thursday, taking two wickets and conceding just 21 runs in his four overs. He is currently sitting on six wickets from two matches.

His plan with the ball in hand is simple. “I try to read batsmen. It is very important to know what the batsman is doing. If the batsman wants to hit, you won’t bowl according to what he is waiting for. Conditions also have to be seen. If [the pitch] is turning, you try not to make your deliveries turn too much, because balls are already turning,” he told the media after his team’s five-wicket win over Delhi Capitals here.

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Nabi often discusses cricket with Rashid Khan, his Afghanistan and Sunrisers team-mate. Revealing what the discussions are about, Nabi said, “Sometimes, the variations don’t happen by [Rashid Khan]. Sometimes, one plays too many matches and fails to concentrate on variations. We play together in the national team; sometimes we have to explain what the batsman is doing, as we have to keep the field. If you bowl many dot balls, the batsman is bound to make a mistake. If you run after wickets, you won’t get them, and you’ll be hit for runs. So, these are the discussions mainly — the fielding positions, so that batsmen don’t get singles easily.

“Rashid is a different spinner as compared to other leg-spinners, he’s quick through the air and sharp, and the batsman cannot read his googly. The batsman wants to stay on strike, and in doing that, makes a mistake.”

Rashid, too, had a good game for Sunrisers. He had figures of 1 for 18 in four overs.

“The wicket-takers are Rashid and [Mujeeb Zadran] in our [Afghanistan] team. If I get the ball, I get it after 10 overs. I try to string together as many dot balls as possible that helps our team. If there are dot balls, there will be pressure on the batsman. Then, from the other end, Rashid or Mujeeb can take the wicket. This is our planning,” Nabi revealed.