Roland Jenkins may not appeal to the current generation of cricketers and fans. He bowled 59571 balls in a 20-year career of 386 first class matches. But one of his quotes strikingly stands out. “I never tried to bowl a maiden. Every time I played, I wanted a wicket every ball.”
A wicket every ball! He claimed he bowled like a “millionaire” because he was so poor in his childhood that knives and forks were like “jewellery.”
For Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem, plying their merchandise in the harsh world of IPL, where you can be hit mercilessly for fours and sixes on field with boundaries brought in to the delight of the batsmen, Jenkins’ words should sound sweet. They both believe in bowling to take wickets.
Left-arm Nadeem and off-spinner Yadav are different from some of the mediocre bits and pieces players we see in the IPL. They have precise roles to perform and perform them with consistency.
Play for India
Nadeem, 27, has been around for 13 seasons. He qualifies as a veteran. Yadav is same age, has played six years of first-class cricket and earned a Test cap too. For Nadeem, the driving force is an India cap.
“The will to play for my country is my driving force. When I started my cricket that was my goal. It keeps me going,” says Nadeem, a trusted performer for Delhi Daredevils.
He is adept at producing dot balls under pressure. “By bowling a dot ball you create pressure on your opponent. In each and every aspect of cricket, whichever format, dot ball means bowling in a good area and maintaining the pressure on the batsman.”
Yadav reads it similarly. “Anil (Kumble) bhai stresses every situation is different. Every session is different is different, you have to create situations, plan your spell. That particular instance and thought process is relevant in T20s where you have to read the situation well and fulfil the role assigned to you.”
The ideal mindset in a T20 match, emphasises Nadeem, “should be to get the batsman out. If you can get him out there are less chances of you getting hit. Main mantra is to get the batsman out and you can be on top.”
Agrees Yadav. “In T20 you have to vary a lot even though your stock ball remains the same. You have to adjust the pace according to the pitch, can’t bowl six balls with the same pace and angle. You have to keep changing. You don’t have to compromise your style, maybe adjust would be a better word.”
Jenkins may not be around but his mantra stands strong. Bowl with an aim to get a wicket every ball.
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