Perhaps because three of his deliveries – at a length he was meant to bowl – disappeared for sixes, Australia legspinner Adam Zampa realises the value of willfully bowling bad balls in one-day cricket.
He was bashed for three consecutive sixes by Hardik Pandya during the course of a lower-order recovery that became match-changing for India. In the aftermath of that 26-run defeat, captain Steven Smith admitted that his lead spinner may have bowled a bit too full. On Tuesday, Zampa said the same, contemplating the possibility of giving up a single to deep point as a good option against a batsman on a roll.
“The length over here is very important, particularly with the size of the grounds,” he said. “In Australia, you can mix up your length a little bit and you’ll get away with it purely because of the size of the Ovals. And here, sometimes I think you’ve got to try and bowl a bad ball, almost, to buck the pressure off you, to get a player off strike. A cut shot out to deep point can play a good role, sometimes. I was thinking the other day but just didn’t execute it well enough. I pride myself on bowling well under pressure and the other day I just didn’t execute as well as I’d have liked to.”
R Ashwin had echoed similar sentiments to ESPNcricinfo in 2016 that an over of six well-constructed dot balls might be the way forward – although he was talking specifically about T20 cricket. As Pandya showed, batsmen are happy to get under a bowler – especially a spinner – when he hits a good length and hit straight – which carries much less risk than cross-bat slogs.
“You never like to be hit for three sixes in a row,” Zampa said. “But I guess it does happen, it’s probably happened to Shane Warne and guys like that too. As long as you don’t put yourself under too much pressure and learn from those situations, and hopefully if it happens again, I’ll get him out earlier, I’ll get out of that situation better.”
Zampa eventually got Pandya out for 83 – although too late in this case – in his ninth over with a flatter, faster ball. “It is tough sometimes knowing that you just have to execute this ball because if you don’t, it’ll probably going to be the same result. So as I said, a bad ball can sometimes be your best way out and just getting the wicket, that’s your job as a spinner in the middle overs.
“Against teams like India, there’s always going to be a partnership, and there are going to be situations like that that you have to get out of and I think the best thing to do in those situations is to just take a deep breath and think about what the team needs – whether getting that player off strike or getting him out and that could be the difference of 20, 30, 40 runs that you have to chase.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo