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Thread: Could today's batsmen adapt to sticky wickets?

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    International Debutant Jager's Avatar
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    Could today's batsmen adapt to sticky wickets?

    I have just been wondering about the evolution of batting techniques. You read legends about Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Trumper alike being masters on rain-affected wickets. Even the Don himself was famously unable to tame those nightmarish patches.

    Back in the days of uncovered pitches, it seems batsmen had to be far more adaptive with their techniques, because balls were known to rear up at them from random parts of the pitch - it makes me question the abilities of today's players even more, especially against spin.

    So, which of today's players do you believe would have succeeded/failed when faced with the pressure and challenge of a sticky dog?
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I think those with some of the funkier techniques might be found out on less true wickets. Obviously I've seen a lot more of cricketers from the current era than I have those pre-war era, but I imagine the MCC coaching manual held more sway back then & batsman had the basic verities instilled from an early age to cope with the capricious pitches.
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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Perhaps considering those who do best on absolute bunsens would give us the best clue.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Not sure it was a case of Bradman being unable to tame sticky wickets, more that he didn't think it was fair he had to bat on them

    I agree that those with the looser techniques would be found out, but the likes of Cook and Kallis would be okay, certainly until the bowlers managed to adapt their techniques to take advantage of such unfamiliar conditions


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    Global Moderator nightprowler10's Avatar
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    God, could you imagine Asif McGrath on such a pitch? Would be an absolute terror.
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    The artist formerly known as Monk Red Hill's Avatar
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    As I understand, a sticky is when an uncovered pitch is rained on, and after the rain stops, the top of the wicket "bakes", but underneath that crust it's soggy. Is that an adequate description?
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Of course they'd adapt. They're a product of their environment.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    The game would have to change, though probably for the better

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    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    At first no, but given time the cream would rise to the top as it always does.

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    International Debutant Jager's Avatar
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    I think de Villiers/Laxman would probably be the best players in a sticky wicket situation of the moderns

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightprowler10 View Post
    God, could you imagine Asif McGrath on such a pitch? Would be an absolute terror.
    I think the accepted wisdom with stickies was to toss the ball to your finger spinners. But you would think someone like those guys you mentioned, or a Bedser would be an even better bet.

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    The artist formerly known as Monk Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I think de Villiers/Laxman would probably be the best players in a sticky wicket situation of the moderns
    Agree. Would add Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke, as players who have good footwork.

    I think Mark Waugh would have been a master.

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    The ones who play the ball exceptionally late (the wristy ones) and not averse to using their feet would do well. Ponting against spin on that sort of wicket would be a liability. Clarke would be awesome. I reckon someone like Chanderpaul would do pretty well also.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Clarke would be interesting. Would be even more rocks/diamonds than he is now, would be very susceptible early on you'd think with his tendency to press forward. Applies to many, many modern bats, mind.

    Again, though, players adapt.
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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    As I understand, a sticky is when an uncovered pitch is rained on, and after the rain stops, the top of the wicket "bakes", but underneath that crust it's soggy. Is that an adequate description?
    I dunno, but it sounds delicious.

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