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Thread: The role of the bouncer

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    The role of the bouncer



    Rather than starting this thread with words I have started it with the video that is most often trotted out when the role of the bouncer is discussed.

    I will make three points about good use of bouncers in this thread and two points against them and then get opinions on how you think the bouncer should be used in tests.


    Point A - watch that video it speaks for itself.

    Point B - you can't score off them so they dry up the run rate. The blackcaps were 130 odd for 2 vs Sri Lanka in our 1st innings of the last test and then SL started bowling bouncers. They got their full quota of two bouncers in for 10 overs straight and wickets started to fall, Part of that was bad batsmanship. Part of it was some useful deliveries. But part of it was drying up our scoring options and getting us thinking defensively by bowling bouncers, The bouncers were definitely part of the equation that led to our downfall. Or maybe they were just a coincidence you can argue that in your response.

    Point B - Many a rash batsman has taken on a bouncer only to be caught in the deep. In the last test (again SL vs the blackcaps) Rutherford was bounced out and Kane was dropped from a bouncer.

    So in the light of those three points bouncers seem terrific and you should fill your boots.

    But consider

    A) Most top order batsman these days aren't stupid like Rutherford and won't take the ball on so it can seem like a waste of time against the best in the world. Wouldn't you be better off pitching it up and going for a bowled or an lbw,

    B) How many bouncers has an experienced player like a Chris Rogers faced in their lives - is it even possible to worry someone like them

    Look bouncers have been around since the 1800s. They definitely have a role but how are they best used...When should they be used to maximum effect. When are they wasted. Does it matter when in the over they are used...What have been some of the more interesting uses of bouncers over the years,

    There are two exceptions I want to avoid in this discussion:
    Bouncers against tail enders because then it is just a given it is a good option
    Bouncers at extreme pace say over 150kms because then even the best in the world will get hurried. The discussion is more around the role of the bouncer for a regular test level quick bowler.
    1) Ross is Boss.
    2) See point 1.

    Leading the charge against nuances being used in posts.

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  2. #2
    123/5 Flem274*'s Avatar
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    I think the standard fast medium bowler should still use them. Plenty of those bowlers have quite a good one. It also means you can't just creep forward against them either.

    A non-rapid bowler sending down bouncers ad nauseum isn't going to have a happy test career, but when it is used as a part of a wider plan then it is an excellent delivery to test batsmen of any standard.
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  3. #3
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    then it is an excellent delivery to test batsmen of any standard.
    Under what circumstances would it test Amla or insert name here of a top ten batsman in the world.

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    International Regular Swingpanzee's Avatar
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    Think it works very well as a surprise weapon and, like Flem said, as part of a plan that may target a particular weakness.
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    123/5 Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    Under what circumstances would it test Amla or insert name here of a top ten batsman in the world.
    The simplest reason is it ensures he can't just plonk on the front foot. The other reason is anybody can be caught out.

    Southee got Sangakkara out with a well directed bouncer in 2012, and Doug Bracewell hit Graeme Smith(?) with one. Even the best struggle to get out of the way or safely play a good one delivered at normal pace.
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    Part intimidation, part technique tester, part surprise element, part wicket-taking option with fields set, part dot ball option, even to me used to be a nice pull together option if I was bowling long HVs and needed to remind myself how to get into the deck.

    Also a useful option when you have a wicketkeeper who thinks he's so clever that he stands up on all occasions, even when there was no use in doing so. No names, obviously.
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  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveNZ View Post
    Part intimidation, part technique tester, part surprise element, part wicket-taking option with fields set, part dot ball option, even to me used to be a nice pull together option if I was bowling long HVs and needed to remind myself how to get into the deck.

    Also a useful option when you have a wicketkeeper who thinks he's so clever that he stands up on all occasions, even when there was no use in doing so. No names, obviously.
    If you were Tim Southee, all other factors being equal, how many times would you bowl a bouncer in a new ball spell of 7 overs and compare that answer to a spell after lunch with a 40 over old ball...

  8. #8
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    Extreme pace isn't really necessary either for a good bouncer. It helps obviously, but the surprise element of it coupled with the way some bowlers get their bouncers to jag back into the batsman make them really really awkward. McGrath and Hazelwood for example aren't even close to express but they have that nasty short delivery that follows the batsman if he tries to sway away from it.
    Last edited by OverratedSanity; 13-01-2015 at 02:27 AM.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    If you were Tim Southee, all other factors being equal, how many times would you bowl a bouncer in a new ball spell of 7 overs and compare that answer to a spell after lunch with a 40 over old ball...
    Several times, you'd hope. He's not doing his job if he isn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    If you were Tim Southee, all other factors being equal, how many times would you bowl a bouncer in a new ball spell of 7 overs and compare that answer to a spell after lunch with a 40 over old ball...
    Very how long is a piece of string-ish...dependent on pitch condition, batsman/men on strike, etc. But being a swing bowler, I'd certainly be looking to get it up to the bat more often than not. On a green one, however, for example it might actually make more sense to increase your use of the bouncer. With grass cover, it's going to be quicker, steeper bounce that hurries them up, and may lead to indifferent footwork when you do look to pitch one up and nick them out.

    On a flat, dry one, I didn't want to dig in too many and compromise the quality of the ball too quick.
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  11. #11
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    Out of Interest I looked at the commentary of the 2nd SL innings and the new ball attack lasted for 13 overs before they switched to spin. Found these two deliveries from Bracewell and Southee. Boult didn't bowl any.

    5.3
    Southee to Karunaratne, no run, tests him out with a bouncer which has the batsman ducking for cover

    11.1
    Bracewell to Silva, 1 wide, tries out a bumper on Silva which is immediately called wide by the umpire

    Two in 13 overs with a new rock seems ok to me. Enjoyed your answer(s) Steve.

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    School Boy/Girl Captain Noah's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think that video explains perfectly one of the best and simplest uses of the bouncer. A well executed bouncer messes with a batsmen's footwork, which helps a bowler then attack the stumps or draw the batsmen into a loose drive. It is a trap that has worked time and time again and very few batsmen have been completely immune to it.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveNZ View Post
    Very how long is a piece of string-ish...dependent on pitch condition, batsman/men on strike, etc. But being a swing bowler, I'd certainly be looking to get it up to the bat more often than not. On a green one, however, for example it might actually make more sense to increase your use of the bouncer. With grass cover, it's going to be quicker, steeper bounce that hurries them up, and may lead to indifferent footwork when you do look to pitch one up and nick them out.

    On a flat, dry one, I didn't want to dig in too many and compromise the quality of the ball too quick.
    Is there any theory as to which ball of the over the bouncer works best? I have often seen southee bowl it on the 6th ball which surprises me as I would usually think of the bouncer as a set up ball much how Lillee used it in the video.

  14. #14
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    Mate there might be theories kicking around now that I'm not aware of...to me a sixth ball bouncer was predominantly used as a dot ball, either in a wanting to complete a strong over sense, quieten a guy who might be planting the front dog or to keep the other guy on strike for the team-mate you're bowling with. A sixth-ball bouncer might be handy early in the spell as a 'hey, bet ya weren't expecting that - there's possibly more to come' but in a later sense I'm not too sure.



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