Why Part-Time Bowlers Work

In the New Zealand-India Test series, we saw both teams rely on that legendary cricket character, the part-time bowler. Sachin Tendulkar picked up some crucial wickets in the final innings of the 3rd Test, while Jesse Ryder took out a supposedly stalwart Rahul Dravid in the 2nd.

Part-time bowlers work with a tortured psychological logic: because they are part-time — read: non-threatening — batsmen lower their guards and act a bit more recklessly (as Dravid did). On the other hand, some batsmen understand the trick, but then second-guess their moves, becoming cautious when they shouldn’t be. There’s no way to win here: if you’re too aggressive, you lose your wicket; if you become too cautious (because no one wants to lose his wicket to a part-time bowler), then you risk a) missing out on some easy runs and b) lose your natural instinct.


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