Ranji Trophy: Short-of-a-length bowling a pre-determined strategy, says Arpit Guleria

Himachal's fast bowlers unsettled Tamil Nadu batsmen with short-of-a-length, fast deliveries. Opening bowler Arpit Guleria reveals the length to be bowled was pre-planned.

Tamil Nadu’s top-order batsmen were incessantly put under pressure by a barrage of fast, short-of-a-length deliveries bowled by Himachal’s inspired fast bowlers.   -  akhilesh kumar

Himachal's fast bowlers unsettled Tamil Nadu batsmen with short-of-a-length, fast deliveries. Opening bowler Arpit Guleria reveals the length to be bowled was pre-planned.

Tamil Nadu’s top-order batsmen were incessantly put under pressure by a barrage of fast, short-of-a-length deliveries bowled by Himachal’s inspired fast bowlers. The difficulty arose when some of these deliveries seamed and some skidded off the track.

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Arpit Guleria, one half of the opening bowling pair (alongside Pankaj Jaswal), set the tone for the day with accuracy and potent in the first hour. He ended the day with two key wickets – opener N. Jagadeesan (caught behind) and Dinesh Karthik.

After the day’s play, he revealed to Sportstar, “The strategy was to bowl short, or short-of-a-length, as we had ascertained that these batsmen struggle to play these kinds of deliveries.”

What added to the chaos was the ball moving around in very cold conditions in the morning. “The ball was moving around a lot, as is usually the case here,” he said.

Guleria didn’t put his feet up after a draining first session. He continued his effort after lunch; bending his back to extract pace and to induce a hurried stroke; he found the prized scalp of Karthik, who, after a scratchy beginning, was looking confident in the middle.

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He misjudged a delivery from Guleria, which snuck through his defences and crashed into the stumps. The bowler’s game plan was simple.

Guleria revealed, “The batsmen were starting to make a few runs after lunch. I wanted to contain them. I was trying to be accurate, and to bowl on the fourth-stump channel outside off, and on a good length.”

Despite Tamil Nadu having been bowled out for a reasonably low total of 227, Guleria wasn’t ready to assume his team had the advantage. “It depends on how the first session goes [on Day Two]. If we can survive this period, the advantage will be with us,” he signed off.