South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day

New ball, same problem

Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq almost made the day Pakistan's but a familiar weakness means they still have plenty of work to do

Firdose Moonda at Newlands

February 14, 2013

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Younis Khan acknowledges the cheers on getting to a hundred, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day, February 14, 2013
Younis Khan mixed patience with aggression but Pakistan's new-ball problems persist © Getty Images
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At 33 for 4 in the morning session, Younis Khan's only focus would have been the next ball. And the next one. And the next. Until he could steer Pakistan to safety.

At 238 for 4 in the evening session, he would have had exactly the same thought. The next ball was the new one and so far in this series, that has been Pakistan's undoing.

Lack of footwork, uncertainty outside the off stump and a habit of fishing in waters they could not navigate resulted in their stumbles at the Wanderers. There was the complete collapse in the first innings and even though they negotiated the new ball slightly better at the start of their second innings, they could not see off the second one, losing six wickets in 20.4 overs to speed up South Africa's victory march.

Today was about not repeating that. It may sound simplistic to distil three sessions into ten overs of utmost significance but that was almost the case.

Younis and Asad Shafiq did their job when they came in, with whispers about how many overs Pakistan would last. They managed to block those out. Importantly, they also knew which deliveries to treat in the same way. Both had a fair measure of when to leave, something that was a concern for Pakistan before this match.

Occasionally, their frustration peeped through. Younis wanted to clobber one wide of cover and had an almighty swing but missed and could have taken the edge. Shafiq's eyes grew wide when he saw a short ball from Dale Steyn and top-edged a hook but it went wide of Morne Morkel at fine leg.

But the lapses in concentration were few and they were nullified by the growing confidence of the pair. Shafiq's back-foot play was impressive, he was quick to take advantage of the short ball, whether with the pull shot or the cut. Younis' driving was his hallmark and his footwork was a sign of his self-assurance. He moved to the ball better than any of the line-up has done so far.

They also found a bowler to target, something that was absent in the first Test. Robin Peterson finally got the chance to contribute in a meaningful way but he did not take it. On this occasion, Peterson was required to do a holding job to help the seamers create pressure and force a breakthrough.

Instead, his could not find his length and was guilty of offering too many deliveries that were too full or tossed up too generously and it allowed the pair to settle. Against two batsmen Vernon Philander called "very wristy, who played Robbie well" that was a mistake. Peterson, like Imran Tahir, has said he does not mind going for a few boundaries because it will create chances for him but on a day when the quicks were battling to do the same, it was not what was required of Peterson.

Younis Khan on Pakistan's approach

  • "We had a lot of meetings and chats about how we want to play Test cricket. And we knew it was all about the partnership. Today, it was tough again but you just fight for your country. We knew that over the last couple of years we've played good Test cricket so we wanted to do that again. We spoke about how to handle the areas that the South African new ball bowlers bowl, especially Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. They bowl very well as a unit but this wicket is much better for batting. It was my plan to hang in there because they do not give any friendly balls. But my theory is very simple: if there is a ball you go can for, then you must. When a youngster like Asad Shafiq can also perform for the team that is a good sign. If we have one more good session, we could have a good score."

The partnership became the biggest between two overseas batsmen in South Africa in seven years, since New Zealand's Stephen Fleming and James Franklin posted 256 in April 2006 - a match also played at Newlands during the South African autumn. Opposition pairings have not been able to get close to that on pitches that are notoriously difficult for batsmen.

The most telling challenge came with about 40 minutes left in the day and the second new ball looming. Younis and Shafiq had set themselves up well. They had both brought up centuries so the individual butterflies had been put to sleep for the night. Pakistan were in a position they would have been comfortable with and all that was left was to negotiate ten overs of Steyn and Vernon Philander at full throttle.

They began nervously. Steyn had not cranked it up yet but he was getting movement and with his fourth ball had an appeal for lbw against Younis that was given out. He reviewed immediately and Hot Spot showed the edge but the nerves must have been tweaked. Younis ended the over with a four, whipped off his pads, to ease them.

Philander did as Philander does and kept it in the channel outside off but Shafiq was happy to leave most of the over alone. Then Steyn again, no movement but he was bowling closer to the stumps and when Younis moved across to play at one, he almost got a leading edge. Steyn had words, Younis showed him his pearly whites. "This was my tactic, the bowlers were talking and I was just smiling," he said afterwards.

The opening pair soon found their rhythm and began what has become an almost ritual dance. Philander creates the uncertainty with repetition and subtle changes and Steyn kept probing. Shafiq got one away and Pakistan would have thought they might end the day without any further damage but then Philander struck.

A beauty of a ball pitched on a good length and cut through Younis. At first glance it was maybe bat, maybe pad, it could have been caught behind, it could have been lbw. Either way, Philander wanted the review and, perhaps in desperation, Graeme Smith called for it.

Hot Spot, operating to the level it should have been at the Wanderers, revealed the thinnest of edges, so faint that AB de Villiers himself wasn't sure Younis had had a nibble. Younis seemed not to feel it either but the technology sent him on his way two overs before Pakistan could call day one theirs.

Shafiq saw it out with Sarfraz Ahmed but the problem remains. Against the new ball, Pakistan are vulnerable. The current cherry is only ten overs old, which means that the pair of Shafiq and Sarfraz, who are also the last recognised batsmen, will have to see it off to ensure Pakistan can gain an advantage in the morning.

Philander thinks 350 to 400 will be a good score, Younis isn't sure but what is obvious is that Pakistan still have a way to go. If Shafiq can bat as he did in the afternoon and Sarfraz can support him, Pakistan have hopes of getting there and making Younis and Shafiq's partnership really count.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 15, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

@Shaun Howe: I do recognize the excellence of Steyn and Philander with the new ball and I don't expect them to bowl teams out under 50 regularly too. But at most they may be the worlds best new ball pair at the moment.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 15, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

@ Ahmed Naseef Chowdhury: The answer to the second part of your question is that Yes Steyn to an EXTENT can perform to the same level outside South Africa the way he performs in SA. However, Philander can't. He barely reaches 130 kmph. Let him tour India or Sri Lanka or UAE and you'll know what I am talking about. He needs the right pitch to support his bowling. Yes Philander may have reached his 50 wickets in few test but how many of those wickets were in South Africa? Shoaib Akhtar too expressed his views on a local tv channel that Philander doesn't have the pace to be world class. Australia and England are fast bowler friendly pitches. I personally feel that to see the class of a batsman you need to see how they perform in tough batting conditions in Australia, England and South Africa and to see a bowlers class one needs to look how they perform on "unfavorable for bowling" Asian pitches.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

@Mr Cricket_Man - has South Africa become so good that they bowl teams out for under 50 every time.....That would just be ridiculous, this is test cricket. teams regularly score 300 even against the great aussies and windies... We have to recognise Steyn and Philanders excellence, no one matches them anywhere in the world. Whoever we play wherever we have played in the last 2 years, please find an opposition bowler that has bowled better than them...I'm afraid you wont find any....maybe the UAE series that pak and sa played only

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

To all, When Steyn perform in India ??? in UAE??? supporting wickets where he is good and I'm dam sure if Aamir and Asif played all their cricket in SA, Aus, NZ and Eng they must be far more better and dangerous than steyn. Bowling out NZ in SA is not showing great bowler, Steyn is good bowler, just good bowler don't call him great or something like that. simple

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 15, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

@ Ahmed Naseef Chowdhury: If you read my first comment properly, you would've seen that I was talking about the bowling UNIT which not only includes the three fast bowlers but the spinner too. The SA bowling unit isn't world class. Do you think Robin Peterson is even a good bowler? Yuvraj Singh who is a part timer is a better bowler than him. Saffers don't have a good spinner. Currently England has the best bowling unit as they've got real good quickies and a good spinner in Swann. Pakistan had the best bowling unit when it had the combination of Aamir, Asif and Ajmal. The best possible bowling unit was probably the Aussie bowling lineup of McGrath, Warne, Gillespie and Lee. It had genuine fast bowlers, the Great line and length bowler "McGrath" and Warne who to date is the worlds best leg spinner.

Posted by sj55 on (February 15, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

Spin, same problem! The title for SA.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 15, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

@shovwar: Steyn didn't perform well on the Australian tour, he didn't perform well in the recent ODI's against New Zealand but yes he did perform well against New Zealand in Tests and in the first test against Pakistan in conditions which suited him. I am not saying he is an average bowler totally, he is just good (Excellent with new ball, average with old one). As far as Philander is concerned he bowls well in South Africa and that too with the new ball. I can assure you he won't be able to perform with his pace on sub-continent pitches. To be world class you need to have all the skills in your kit which neither the two have. Morkel for me is South Africa's best bowler because he just doesn't rely on the new ball and he has the pace, bounce and can seam it both ways.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Just to correct what I previously stated - Steyn is 2nd behind Waqar in Asia but only marginally. Well done to Ajmal excellent bowling, Elgar clearly doesnt know how to play spin, maybe he is another amla with his funky style of play. Looking forward to SA bowling pakistan out on the cheap in the 3rd innings....seems similar to what we did to the aussies recently, SA got bowled out on the cheap then destroyed the aussie batting line up. @Ryan Stephen - Kallis wud be the greatest if he did something of significance when the chips were really down overall most consistent in history, but he will never be the greatest.......who knows Ty Cobb? best batting ave in baseball history - I bet we all know 10th best Babe Ruth!!!

Posted by Aragorn_11 on (February 15, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

thanks Firdose....will you be negative about South Africa's batting now after Day 2?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

Pakistan: New Ball, Same Problem.... South Africa: Old Ball, Same Problem!!!

Posted by pipsonian on (February 15, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

should write an article on SA i.e Spinning ball, same problem

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Steyn may have a bad Strike rate in UAE, but he has the best strike rate of any bowler that has played more than 10 games on the sub-continent in the history of cricket - why comment on favourable conditions - he is the best.....simple

Posted by OnlyTestsMatter on (February 15, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

@cricketkhan, yeah, deep trouble. like the last 6 years have proven. don't hate, you will, in the future some time, be at number 1 again.

Posted by cricketkhan on (February 15, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

I think that the title of this piece of writting should have been, Old ball same problem, as has been very clearly shown pakistani batsman. Pakistan surely has huge scoring problems with thier batsmen,neverthless, this can not hide the fact that much taunted SA fast bowling has its own set of serious shortcomings with the old ball. A ball can only retain shine for 20 overs at the most, after that what, that's the question SA team think tank has to solve, and solve it pretty rapidly, otherwise they are in for trouble.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

@Cricket_Man: What makes you think SA bowling is not world class plus how can you say that Steyn and Philander can't perform to the same level outside South Africa after they won back to back series against England and Australia outside home with equal effort in every department?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

why people compare amir n asif with steyn. let suppose that they were playing cricket but is it assure it that they keep the standard of the bowling as steyn maintained?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

@Shovwar : This is hilarious by you " U dont judge bowler wit just varieties u judge them with their unplayable deliveries in Test match" .. Test cricket my friend, is all about variety. You have to bowl for the whole day and sometimes for two, three days, this is where you need to bring in varieties. And swing ? Watch some bowling from Asif and Amir , then you would come to know they they knew about swing quite well than Steyn and Philander..

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

@drimpel: That's fine, you can say that our bowlers are dependent on favourable conditions, but if you say that, then you also have to admit that Kallis is the best cricketer of all time, since conditions in SA are so "bowler friendly". Also Smith has the same average as Alastair Cook, for more runs scored, which must make him a way better player than the much overhyped Cook, since SA pitches help the bowler so much.

The problem with you guys is that when we talk of SA bowlers, then SA is a bowling paradise. When we talk of Smith, Kallis, Amla, De Villiers, then suddenly SA is no longer helpful to bowlers, and England/Aus batsmen with the same/worse figures are now better than them.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

The only place where aamir and asif was better than any other bowlers is at match fixing. The less said about them the better. I've got no respect for players who don't do the honorable thing.

Posted by shovwar on (February 15, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

@Cricket_man...I have seen Aamir n Asif...They were good but non of them are Steyn....U can Compare them with Philander and Morkel. But dont take there name with Steyn..U have not seen Steyn enough...He most prolly had an off day with the old ball and you judged him on that. Philander is better than both Asif n Aamir with the new Ball but they are better than Philander with the old Ball. U dont judge bowler wit just varieties u judge them with their unplayable deliveries in Test match. Varieties comes in the ODI matches. If Dale can take more wickets than any others with his stock ball then he is more Dangerous. Plus he can still swing them with the old.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Before this game most of the pakistani supporters called for Yunis to be dropped from the team. Now after a brilliant ton he is the hero again. Thats cricket. Give your players a chance to fail as well as success. Please don't worry about the proteas bowling as your turn to bowl will come.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 15, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Pakistan's Mohammad Aamir was better than Dale Steyn and Mohammad Asif better than Vernon Philander. Only if those two guys didn't do the stupid fixing thing they did, Pakistan would've had the best bowling attack by far (which is still pretty good). Aamir and Asif were not only good with the new ball but they were equally good with the old ball too. Sadly, Steyn and Philander (who isn't even a fast bowler) showed that they are only average with the old ball and that they can't perform to the same level outside South Africa. South African bowling unit is good but not world class by any means.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Pakistan need to bold to win this match or otherwise trying for a draw could lead them to repeated defeat. Batsman should take their time but Misbah should try to bold SA out early with or without any lead under 100 runs, that would give Pakistan a chance pf win, but if they will go for a draw than luck may not favor them.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (February 15, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

Watching the match, what struck me the most compelling was how Younis carried himself. He never looked frustrated or angry at the Bowler for bowling a good ball, he just smiled back. The intensity was there, but the composure from Younis was exemplary.

Posted by HammadNasir47 on (February 15, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

younas and asad shafiq played beautifully with the grit. surajdon9 looks a complete package as well as cricket analysts require, but practical is much different than theory! one thing is very evident, saffa bowlers are not that good with older ball. their main strength is line and length basically. if you see vernon or dale, their movements are not prodigious, it is the subtle movement from good health that does the trick most of the times. nasir jamshed is having toooo much pressure up-front. azhar ali is a total disappointment. he doesnt look a good player on these pitches and his temperament is real faulty. hafeez is not learning, so professor should be sent to school again.

Posted by grizzle on (February 15, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

Well done Pakistan! I'm hoping for a closely contested match this time around.

Posted by drlimpel on (February 15, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

I think the bigger cause for concern for you guys in particular, is how quickly your "best/ most potent/ downright scary bowling attack" in the world deflates once the ball isn't doing that much from them anymore and is a few overs old. Vernon Philander is reduced to being a downright trundler and at times it seems even younis khan will be able to outbowl him. He is a bowler in the M Asif mould for sure, but I doubt he even has half the wiles and smarts that M Asif had along with skill. While Dale Steyn, supposedly a bowler who is fast like the wind but mostly can be seen bowling in the mid 130ks these days, goes away for a "breather" and doesn't even come on to bowl. The few occasions when he does, you can see ppl like Kepler wessels desperately trying to play him up with stuff like, "He is working up some serious pace (at 137ks apparently!)" "You are never truly IN against this guy. I must say it would be a treat to watch these "fast bowlers" operate in UAE again come this Oct.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

SA cricket is not all about the new ball! its all round skills and also the believe in their selves to raise the bar.Maybe and maybe not they will get another team bowled out under 30, there are Usain Bolts who will break records and SA believes in that. Pakistan needs that believe in their selves and not a captain that tells the world we have the objective to loose less wickets.... or so

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

@Surajdon9 with your insight, you should have been in an international team...or is it easier said than done?

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 14, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

if Pakistan see of 15 overs without loosing wickets they could get to 350 and it will be good match if they could pressure SA. The likely scenario is they will out with in 20 over may be 280, poor batting technique from top 3 batsmen i would say apart from misbah. if top order could see first 20 overs off it could have been much better score. SA have hard time getting wickets with old bowl in Australia also so that is not new. to win Pakistan has to play better in all sessions. one poor session in batting could easily cost game.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

@ Zahidsaltin and @ Surajdon9 kindly apply for the batting coach of Pakistan cricket team, they desperately need experts like you guys . lol !! by the way it looks easy watching on the TV but when you have to play those swerving deliveries its a nightmare if you r not use to the facing those .. here in UK the ball comes to you swerving as if it is trying to dodge the bat , and in the thin air of SA its even more tricky,

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 22:21 GMT)

Great innings by both of them

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 14, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

Great man. Great knock. Love and respects to Younis bhai - from India.

Posted by Moblicious on (February 14, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

If Pakistani could hold this bowling lineup till lunch tomorrow with 320 to 340 runs on the board they will be might pleased with their performance. Knowing Misbah's defensive approach he must be praying for Pakistan to occupy crease for as long as possible, so this game could progress to the fifth day and to the safe point of a possible draw. He will try to do everything possible to slow down the run rate instead of taking wickets and winning the game which will be no different than taking a shot on your own foot.

I would have loved to see Abdul Rehman in the bowling line up in this relatively slow Cape Town wicket. He along with Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez does provide a formidable spin bowling attack (Remember 3-0 Pakistan win against England in Middle East).

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

Wondering how much SA bowling depends on new ball! After 25/30 overs they struggle in almost every match. And still they are best bowling side?

Posted by Moblicious on (February 14, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Good article Firdose

I agree that Pakistan has again showed their weaknesses against the new ball. But i think it is also important to mention people carrying the new ball are no Tom Dick and Harry but some top class bowler who have mastered all the tricks of the trade. Kudos to Younis and Asad for putting up a great fight and keeping this game alive. As Younis said this pitch has more to offer to the bastman which only mean any score below 300 will not be of much threat to Smith and party. The key here for Pakistan is to go from strength to strength and show discipline on the second day of this test.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

they batted well today. but top order needs to do more vs new ball. they could have avoided may be 1 or 2 wickets at top to the manner they got out.

Lower order isnt able to handle the new ball. a lot of work still remaining 253 may not be enough considering junaid isnt playing, irfan , no body know what wil do on debut, Tanveer is a good bowler and got a 5 for in test vs SA in uae when SA wre 39/4 & some umpiring howlers & a master class 200 took them to huge total. but tanveer is coming from break. so as many pak can get will be handy. atleast they have given ajmal & co something to bowl at.

Posted by sabeeh89 on (February 14, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

lets stop praising pakistan after 1 day. I remember in the previous match, commentators were talking about how Pakistan was not New Zealand and blah blah.

Pakistan batted better but this is a more batsman friendly pitch. Lets see what Pakistan can muster up tomorrow and then what can their bowlers do

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (February 14, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

Well done to the 49ers today for showing some steel and a good measure of talent. Before people get a bit too carried away with their effort, let's see how the Proteas get on in their knock. This will place the Pakistan innings into context. This looks a very good batting track, don't be surprised if SA take a lead into the 1st innings and avoid the danger of batting on the last day.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

Shouldn't we be discussing how toothless SA bowling is without a helpful pitch or the new ball

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 14, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

The article is one-sided and lacks perspective. Along with the fact that Pak have problems with the new ball (and almost all teams have issues with the new ball), there's also the issue that SA attack is far less menacing once the ball loses its shine. Couple this with the fact that SA lack a quality spinner and their bowling attack can be far less effective for vast stretches of an innings. Maybe the author should have focused on that as well.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (February 14, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Respect to Younis, my favourite Pakistani batsman for years now. He's always been a fighter, proved it again, and always humble in success. I got a feeling Sarfraz is due a few runs, but this Saffa side has bounced back from tough days before. The first session tomorrow will be crucial, as will whether or not Peterson's spin can either take wickets or prevent runs from one end.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 14, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

@Surajdon9, the mostly fall to a straight one which is cutting to the off lol. Non of them can play late and non has full length footwork to play such deliveries.

Posted by suniljoseph on (February 14, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

Well, Firdos I would like to ask you a question that if Pakistan are vulnerable against the new ball, what about the RSA bowlers. They were unable to get a wicket with the old ball which is really embarrassing for the world best attack. I think problems are always there, so let's watch the match and see if Ajmal can find anything in the pitch in the later portion of the match, then it would be an interesting contest.

Posted by AK47_pk on (February 14, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

Highest partnership in 7 years? Well done yunis nd asad.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Plan to counter left arm spinner 1) Block him all day or smash him out the park, whatever you do don't be half hearted in approach and do it with intent, can ill afford to give him wickets after surviving the hard yards against the seamers 2) Don't close the face of the blade early as he gets the odd ball to dip and spin away 3) Repetitive, patient, endless forward defences will automatically earn the bad ball such as the full toss or half tracker, his control will be tested 4) Don't play for the spin, generally play straight for the arm ball drifting in and straightening...

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Plan to counter Kallis 1)Play back and from the crease unless it is really full so you can drop the hands and sway out of the line when the bouncer arrives 2) See him off and avoid any degree of complacency, he is a cunning operator with a wealth of experience

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Plan to counter Morne Morkel 1) Plenty of cutting. Taller batsmen can get on top of the bounce; shorter figures need to go up and over or offer no stroke 2) Force him into bowling a fuller length, even dishing up the half volley which you can put away with a nice looking forward drive 3) Look for nudge of the hip to get down the other end 4) Confidently leave on bounce, even when the ball is pitched up 5) Play the ball close to the body and get behind the line with a high left elbow when playing the backfoot defence...

Posted by pipsonian on (February 14, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

The only trick South African bowlers seem to have is the NEW BALL. i don't think they are a good all around attack and if Pakistanis can once again see off the new ball, i think even 500 is gettable.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

Plan to counter Veron Philander 1) Get forward and play with soft hands 2) Give him the walk from time to time and don't bat too deep in the crease as he doesn't have as much pace 3) Keep your focus and concentration because at times he appears innocuous, but just does enough to find the edge 4)If the balls are angling in before moving away with the new cherry or with the help of overcast conditions,open the blade, BUT only inside the line, not outside the line of the off stump as this is what the slip cordon and outswing bowler want to see. 5)If you keep fishing outside the off stump, take an off stump guard and leave anything outside the eye line. Make sure you get forward and the head doesn't fall over to avoid LBW when Vernon bowls a straighter line if you are taking such a guard.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 14, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

Plan to counter Dale Steyn 1)Play closer to the body 2)Leave most deliveries outside the off stump which are shaping away, offer no stroke, get a feel of the pace and bounce of the surface.u should happily let it go by,however keep the bat close to u as a second line of defence if the inswinger darts back in so u have a chance of keeping it out if initially misjudged. 3)Play with soft hands to avoid the edges carrying, strong top hand, weaker bottom hand 4)Play it late, even when committing on the front foot 5) Occasionally give him the walk to put him off guard rather than just letting him set u up. This requires bravery and courage when doing it vs a bowler with such pace, however this is why it's a test. When u are taking all the momentum forward it is natural to have a waft and start feeling for it outside the off stump with all the momentum taking u forward.u can also be bowled as u struggle to keep out yorker if the bowler slides one in as u have less time to play during OLD Ball

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