Spinners Need The Strokes, Not The Dots

Via Prem Panicker: Terry Jenner (i.e., Shane Warne’s coach) makes an interesting point about how the modern-day game has affected spinners:

In my view we should find ways of getting those young, developing spinners to play longer forms of cricket where they can bowl sustained spells. There are two ways to develop as a spinner: by going to the nets and working on your craft and bowling at targets. Or by experimenting and bowling in matches where you can try the things you tried in the nets. In limited-overs games everyone applauds a dot ball but not the batsman’s strokes. To develop as a spinner in the four-day game you have to invite the batsman to play strokes. If the mental approach of all concerned – the coach, captain and team-mates – is to keep it tight, the spinner struggles to develop. We say big bats and short boundaries have created difficulties for a spin bowler but dot-ball cricket has done more damage.

This is interesting because Jenner’s trying to argue that spinners should be developed in Tests, but he’s also saying why they can be — and have been — so successful in T20s. Spinners need foolish batsmen, which Twenty20s deliver in droves. It’s little wonder now that so many IPL teams used spinners at the start of the innings.

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