Coaching the IPL: Despite the Hype, Traditional is Effective | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Coaching the IPL: Despite the Hype, Traditional is Effective

If I was to ask you what you picture when you think of "swing bowling" what would you tell me?

Zaheer Khan and Chaminda Vaas bowling in World Cups?

Kapil Dev, Malcolm Marshall and Richard Hadlee bending the red ball round corners?

Perhaps you go back further to names like Barnes and Lindwall, where their length was as impeccable as the crease in their trousers.

But in Twenty20 a length ball is smashed over midwicket.

So swing bowling is dying.

Except, it isn't, it's adapting. As shown in the IPL, good swing bowling will save your side form a lot of other mistakes.

Twenty20 swing bowling

The perfect example of this comes from Pune Warriors.

In IPL match 19 against CSK they batted first, and ended up with an average score despite a flying start. It was a totally that was within the reach of Chennai's stellar batting line up.

Enter Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Kumar had the new ball. He knew he didn't have the pace to trouble the likes of Raina and Vijay. Besides, the pitch was hardly flying.

What he did have was the ability to swerve the ball early on in both directions.

It was plenty.

He bowled a wicket maiden, and went for just 6 runs in his first 18 balls.

And he did it by bowling in the "old fashioned" way. Pitch it up, let it swing and watch the fun. With a ring field set the batsmen only had the option of going over the top or waiting for a bad ball. And there was not much of the latter.

So swing bowling works, even in Twenty20.

Does it work every time?

It depends on the situation, but when the ball is moving, the pitch is slower and the batters are under the pressure of scoring quickly, you can rely on it more often than not.

And that means the legacy of Barnes, Hadlee, Kapil Dev and all the other greats is assured.

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