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The Indian epidemic of fishing outside off stump

The Indian epidemic of fishing outside off stump

Ritwik Sen

Published: 24 Jan 2018 6:54 AM GMT
Leaving and letting go is a huge life skill and Indian batsmen haven't been very adept at this recently, especially in foreign conditions. Leaving balls outside the off stump is absolutely integral to a test batsman surviving on seaming and swing conditions. The fiery aggressive brand of cricket the current Indian team play seems a little too rash sometimes especially when batsmen are seen slashing around the fourth-fifth stump line to away swinging deliveries. Considering "India bat deep", we will take into consideration the top 8 (IKR?!) batsmen of the Indian order. KL Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel replaced Wriddhiman Saha for the second test. To their credit neither Shikhar Dhawan nor KL Rahul got caught out behind the wicket in either of their two innings. The little bright light in grim conditions. Murali Vijay has been dismissed a staggering three times in India's four innings. That is high for a top order batsmen leave alone an opener. But he was still played, even letting go of the much favoured left right combination in the seaming swinging conditions. Every time fishing outside his off stump, maybe even outside the fourth or the fifth stump. Dismal. Chestashwar Pujara is perhaps the most technically sound player of our top order but the channel of uncertainty remains a hair raising concern for him as well. He got dismissed caught behind the wicket twice in the fourth innings. Surely, he's got to see replays of his dismissals and berate his decision making. Virat Kohli, Captain Courageous has been peppered by the short ball which has resulted in him not being sure with his footwork and making erroneous prods at the ball around his fifth stump at shoulder height. He's been dismissed twice. He's got to realise leaving the ball in test cricket, especially in such conditions is almost as effective as his hit over mid-wicket in limited overs cricket. Rohit Sharma boasts of better stats in this regard than almost everybody else. Just been dismissed once in four innings. Clearly shows, he's better at leaving balls outside off stump than the rest of them. Our two all rounders have been dismissed seven times in 8 chances. Ravichandran Ashwin leading the pack having a 100% rate of getting dismissed caught in the slip cordon and Hardik Pandya closely following with three out of four. Great depth in the sub-continent but not so much abroad? Surely the coaching team could help? Ravi Shastri having almost 4000 test runs should sort their technique or decision making out maybe? Detractors will say Indian batsmen have never left the ball very well abroad, even the Golden generation. But that generation wasn't the number one test team either. Will the epidemic outside the third stump be quarantined in the third test? Only time will tell.
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