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Penetration Skill?

Wicket Taking Ability


  • Total voters
    6

Manee

Cricketer Of The Year
Sorry all, couldn't resist the title.

My question is, is there more to taking wickets at international level (in a Test match or point in an ODI when the opposition is not slogging) than accuracy alone. Is there a currently intangible penetration trait which depends on small factors such as pace off the pitch and sharpness (but not necessarily quantity) of bounce. I ask this after watching Jason Gillespie in the 2005 Ashes. Sure, he was off colour, but he lost the ability to even trouble the batsmen for more than one delivery per spell whereas Glenn Mcgrath has taken 3fors and more when off colour, just by producing a few deliveries in that troubling area which had Atherton jumping so often (sorry Richard).

...or is it just all down to accuracy and simple ability?

I am prepared for a unanimous result in the latter, but give it some thought, please...

(...or do you not have the foggiest what I am talking about?)
 

Goughy

Hall of Fame Member
...or is it just all down to accuracy and simple ability?

Its all good. The more you have of both the better.

Think of it this way.

Accuracy makes you ask lots of questions of the batsman and the ability defines how hard the questions are.

Thats why Ambrose and McGrath are at the top of the tree. Constantly putting the batsman under pressue with both the frequency and difficulty of the challenge.

Compare to a Jimmy Anderson who asks very tough questions but hardly ever. Or any standard offspinner that asks a lot of very easy questions.
 

ret

International Debutant
you can't bowl wicket-taking balls consistently all the time, so you need accuracy to keep the batsman under pressure

if you are like Akthar or Lee, who can produce an unplayable spell then there is nothing like that .... and if you look around then you will see that quick bowlers usually pick up most of their wkts when there are at their peak, i.e. bowling fast, making the ball talk and thus producing wicket taking deliveries

once they are on the decline, they tend to resort to accuracy to create pressure

in the end, you can't go to far with accuracy alone, if you are losing pace. then you become a support bowler from a strike bowler. We have seen that happen to Imran, Kapil, Botham, Marshall, etc which tells that in the end it's the ability to bowl wicket taking balls, an intangible skill, that counts :)
 
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Top_Cat

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Regarding Jason Gillespie, it was definitely a problem with consistency. He was sliding into the pads all series which negated the effectiveness of his length balls. I distinctly remember many deliveries of his angled-in and full which were flicked to the fence.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
What you shouldn't overlook is that accuracy is both a "defensive" thing and it also improves the potency of your attacking weapons - be they swing, seam, legcutters or whatever. The more balls you get in the right areas, the more balls you make the batsmen play, the more effect your attacking weapons are going to have.
 

Manee

Cricketer Of The Year
Some interesting responses. Someone who is currently low in this skill is Sreesanth. He swung the ball in the South Africa Test series at good pace but could only pick up a few wickets.
 

Debris

International 12th Man
Accuracy, of course, is not everything or medium pace trundlers would be king.

But I would not call things like pace, swing or spin intangibles.

Intangibles probably come down to a bowlers ability to analyse a batsman and target their attack where it is most likely to get him out. As well as a bit of mental destruction :)
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
Accuracy and stuff helps, but at the end of the day, wicket taking ability is something that is a combination of a lot of things than just one factor. Pace, Accuracy, Swing, Seam Movement, Bounce everything goes into it, if we are talking about fast bowlers. Also some mental discipline and being able to work out which lengths are good and which are not based on the pitch. So I would go for the intangible option...
 

bond21

Banned
I find it amazing that a lot of bowlers even at international level cannot swing the ball, I havent seen Watson swing the ball ever.

Swing is one of the most important things in fast bowling.
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
I find it amazing that a lot of bowlers even at international level cannot swing the ball, I havent seen Watson swing the ball ever.

Swing is one of the most important things in fast bowling.
Unfortunately you are right. It has a lot to do with compromises in coaching techniques in the last decade or two.

Of course, there are those on this forum who believe swing is a modern phenomenon and it never existed before :)
 

PhoenixFire

International Coach
I find it amazing that a lot of bowlers even at international level cannot swing the ball, I havent seen Watson swing the ball ever.

Swing is one of the most important things in fast bowling.
Well obviously some fast bowlers couldn't swing it due to their height and bowling style. it would be futile for someone like Curtly Ambrose to try and swing it, as he wouldn't ever really be able to do it.
 

cover drive man

International Captain
Yeah I think there is a lot more than just accuracy and skill, like I've said on a few occasions amongst other things psychology (Like in all walks of life) plays a huge part in cricket and your mindset plays a huge part in the things which affect how you play. Emotional stability allows sensible play and in test matches sensible play is vital, you cant go in to a test match as if it's a 20/20 (God help the Aussies if that were true ;)) on the batting side of the spectrum look at how good old Viv Richards used to walk out on to the ground, strolling in without a care in the world this was hugely intimidating to some bowlers (and I'm sure he used it on purpose at times.) but it shouldn't be. A truly great player (I feel) would either reply with equal relaxation and focus or just ignore him.

Of course there are other factors apart from skill accuracy and psychology. There's also a lot of importance in (Like in life) your ability to adapt to different conditions, truly great players play great everywhere whether its a steaming hot day in India or the murky cold conditions of lords these players can consistently play to a high standard. Like when I was talking about an old Liverpool player Luis Garcia with my uncle he said "Well he's got to have time adapt to the cold conditions here in Liverpool" I thought if he was a truly great player he wouldn't need time to adapt to Liverpool weather.

And as always and in all walks of life unfortunately there's always that frustrating element of luck which can swing in your favour or against at any time you might be just about to get really going and the old light meters might get brought out, your captain might bring you off after having a couple of unlucky bounces. But luck evens itself out and its not useful to dwell on the matter. There are numerous more factors to bring in but I feel I've described the most important.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Well obviously some fast bowlers couldn't swing it due to their height and bowling style. it would be futile for someone like Curtly Ambrose to try and swing it, as he wouldn't ever really be able to do it.
No, not neccessarily at all. While taller bowlers generally tend to be fewer amongst the ranks of those who swing the ball regularly, there have been plenty of high-calibre tall swing-bowlers.

Andy Caddick for one example. Richard Hadlee another. Nathan Bracken. Andrew Flintoff has turned himself very well into one. Shaun Tait is a good swing-bowler even if his accuracy is very poor and his action hopelessly low-slung. Glenn McGrath only very rarely swung the ball but when he did he did it well indeed.
 

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