ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Netherlands v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mohali

Mandatory change of ball can help seamers - Steyn

Firdose Moonda

March 1, 2011

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn, South Africa's premier fast bowler, has said the mandatory ball change after 34 overs in an ODI innings could benefit seamers in this tournament. "The change of ball helped to get some reverse swing," he said from Chandigarh. "We worked nicely on the second ball, and it has become clear that it's going to play a massive role."

On Thursday, at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, the West Indies lost six wickets for 68 runs after the change of ball, with three of the scalps going Steyn's way. The effect of the second ball was also pronounced in the game between England and India in Bangalore. England lost six wickets for 109 runs, as their slide was sparked by a spell from Zaheer Khan, who took three wickets. "He got [Andrew] Strauss and [Ian Bell] with reverse," Steyn said.

Conventional wisdom suggested that the batting team would benefit more from having a harder ball two-thirds of the way through their innings. New Zealand's Danny Morrison said that in the subcontinent, it may prompt teams to take the Powerplay at the ball change. "In these conditions that makes a lot of sense, provided you have wickets in hand. That's when you can launch," Morrison said.

Now, Steyn has added a new twist to the third Powerplay tale, which will come as good news to the seamers who may have felt that they were coming off second best to the spinners in this tournament. South Africa's pace quartet of Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell have said that there is no substitute for out-and-out pace and that even if the conditions favour spinners, a genuine quick is still a threat.


Dale Steyn celebrates knocking over Kieron Pollard for a golden duck, South Africa v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, Delhi, February 24, 2011
Dale Steyn expects the ball change to aid reverse-swing © AFP
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They may be able to prove that on Thursday against Netherlands, who crumbled to the pace of Kemar Roach in Delhi. Steyn said that the Mohali pitch, where he's only played during the IPL, may suit the pacemen more. "From the stats apparently it's a bit better for fast bowling. I've heard it's a bit of a quicker deck." He's right in that the quicks usually find a bit more life in the pitch at the PCA Stadium.

Even if the conditions work to a seam bowler's advantage, Steyn said there are still significant differences between bowling in the subcontinent and bowling in South Africa. "You've got to be more street-smart over here. The full, wide ball doesn't bounce and finds the middle of the bat, it flies for four. In South Africa, it will bounce more and find the edge." Steyn's solution is in variation. "You can't bowl every single ball at the same pace in the same place." That's why he has been "throwing in a few cutters to reduce the speed from 140 to 120 kmph."

Steyn and the rest of the South African team have had ample time to think about different strategies, having spent two weeks in India before their first game against West Indies and then a week in between their first and second match. With a packed international schedule, Steyn said the players have welcomed the break and used it to ensure all the squad members are at their peak.

"There's a nice competition going on, because with everyone being fit for selection we're all competing for positions. When everyone is fit and there's so much time, everyone has a point to prove in practice sessions. It makes the coach and selection panel's job a bit difficult, but that's good."

It's also given players with niggles, such as Steyn, who hurt his right side during the warm-ups on Sunday, and JP Duminy, who had lower back pain, time to recover. Imran Tahir has also recovered from the respiratory tract infection he picked up. Although Tahir had an outstanding debut, conditions in Mohali may prompt Graeme Smith to leave out a spinner in favour of Tsotsobe, to give the left-armer some game time in the tournament. Tahir may get a few more days off but Steyn said if that is the case, it won't be because South Africa are resting players. "It won't be an easy game."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 17 
Posted by achandana on (March 2, 2011, 19:59 GMT)

@Krishna Darooka

Hahahaha your statement is kind of less interesting and more funny in manner.Let me explain

1) A bowler can bowl his full quota of 10 overs no matter how many runs batsman score in his overs. 2) A bowler cannot be out/runout etc..... so he can bowl to the full extent of his quota 3) A batsman may get out for the first ball he faces assume 9 batsman got out for the first 9 balls in a 50 over game according to you theory the other 2 batsmans can only play for another 20 overs which means even though they wants to bat for long they cant bat entire 50 over as per you

This is so complicated one day cricket is shadowed now a days upon the prominence of T-20 and this is kind of thing will make it even worse.Good thing from my point of view is your theory is a good joke which makes others to laugh :).

Cheers

Posted by Need_A_Miracle on (March 2, 2011, 19:50 GMT)

@ KRISHNA DAROOKA, Batsmen have an advantage to bat 50 overs, but can get out in the 1st ball and have no chance to come back, while on the other hand bowlers can bowl a max and Min of 60 balls as long as they and their captain wish to..So even though u get hit for a six u can come back to get a wicket..I think it balances out eventually..

Posted by TheBigFatFlapjack on (March 2, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

oh i see so its a re-conditioned ball which is roughly about 35 overs old. Well, all i can say is its a damn good thing because it brings back an even contest between bat and ball. thanks guys :)

Posted by kevinpp24 on (March 2, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

@kapilVijan... it doesn't really need a bowling/batting powerplay to bring fielders inside circle, the captain can even have all fielders inside for all 50 overs

Posted by KapilVijan on (March 2, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

If batting team doesn't loose any wicket in 1st mandatory Power play, then shouldn't the bowling team reserve bowling power play to over 34? Would the swing factor prompt them to hold till over 34?

Posted by Meety on (March 2, 2011, 7:44 GMT)

@ TheBigFatFlapjack - as I understand it, the ball IS NOT new, it is a re-conditioned ball. The ball is roughly 30-35 overs old, & is painted/cleaned up so that the White colour is bright as to counter the BIGGEST problem white cricket balls have (they fade in colour), which means they become quite difficult to see particularly under lights. Reverse swing is an option because the ball is old, but is in good shape & so a team could work the ball up (legally), to produce swing - as opposed to a 34 over ball which has probably been bashed out of shape or roughed up all over!

Posted by indianzen on (March 2, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

There should be a limitation to bouncers, a shoulder high ball to Ishant is not the shoulder high to Sachin... and particularly its the Aussie and South africans who just hit the deck hard to get the bounces, mere bounce and no line length...

Posted by mrwaka on (March 2, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

@TheBigFatFlapjack: the ball that they get given in the 35th over of the game is a re-conditioned ball. it is an old ball that has had its seems fixed and then re-painted. and you do seem to get more reverse swing with it: see Zaheers last game.

Posted by Shaneb20041985 on (March 2, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

@ Sanjay, I'm quite sure it's a ball that's 34 overs old. Just like in normal changes of ball, they pick a ball that's just as old as the old ball ( in this mandatory change it has to be 34) What's the difference? The replacement ball is one that was used in net practices and therefore it's not as scuffed up by traveling along the field.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

50 overs one day games are not designed properly as these matches are batsman oriented also the first three batsmen only have best odds to score centuries and good score . FIRST THREE BATSMEN CAN ONLY PLAY OUT MOST OF THE 50 oVERS.

UNLIKE BOWLERS WHO CANNOT BOWL MORE THAN 10 OVERS a batsman can play com p-lete 50 overs.THIS IS THE REASONS ALL BATTING RECORDS ARE HELD MOSTLY BY FIRST THREE BATSMEN ONLY

I PROPOSE A BATSMAN SHOULD BE ALLOWED MAXIMUM 10 OVERS OF BATTING IN AN INNINGS THUS LOWER BATSMEN CAN ALSO GET GOOD CHANCE TO MAKE BATTING RECORDS

THIS RULE SHOULD BE ADOPTED FROM THE NEXT WORLD CUP. THIS WAY SACHIN WILL NOT GET SPECIAL ADVANTAGE OVER KALLIS< AND MIDDLE ORDER BATSMEN

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