Arguably one of the best players of spin bowling in Indian cricket, VVS Laxman has come out with a column in English daily ‘The Observer’ where he has given some tips of countering spinners in subcontinent. One can say Laxman’s column must be read by Joe Root and team because right now it’s them who are facing the brunt of ‘poor wickets’ that are being dished out.
“There is no doubt it’s possible to score on these pitches. You have to have the right mix of technique and mindset. You have to have to have belief in your defence. If you don’t, your mind is restless, shot selection becomes problematic, decision-making translates into poor footwork, into reaching towards the ball, picking the length wrongly, and that will lead to your dismissal. You will look out of place batting on these surfaces,: Laxman told the observer.
Talking about the finer nuances of playing the tweakers, Laxman said defending doesn’t only include taking a long stride forward but also transfer of body weight from front to back-foot.
“Defence doesn’t mean just taking a long stride forward. Defence is where you’re transferring your body weight, and your stride is just so long that you can get bat in front of pad,” Laxman explained.“Once you’re comfortable with your defence, you play to save one edge, not both. On a turning track you always play for the ball that comes in. Your bat should be vertical and you look to play back to the bowler. More often than not you won’t get bowled because you’re covering the line of the delivery.
The 46-year-old played some brilliant innings in his long international career. One of them includes his knock of 73* to bring India home in the fourth innings against Australia in Mohali back in 2010.
“If the ball turns in a lot, it will go to square leg off the inside part of your bat. If it is turning away it will roll to point off the outside part of the bat. But because you’re playing with soft hands, very rarely will it carry to gully or slip,” he further wrote.
India inflicted a 10-wicket defeat on England inside two days at Ahmedabad after dismissing the tourists for 112 and 81 in the two innings of the Pink-Ball third Test. It was after England lost the second Test in Chennai by 317 runs.