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The ‘Singles Approach’ — a Kirsten thing?

If you recall, the entry of South Africa during the 1992 World Cup heralded a new fashion of setting-up decent scores in ODI without taking too many risks — the idea was to take as many quick singles and secures the wickets for the slog overs. Before this, the Australians were regarded as the best team in terms of running, seemingly-risky but actually, safe singles and running the opposition teams, ragged. Yes, there were some players from the sub-continent like Miandad who had created a niche for themselves by being canny single seekers but beyond a few names, this approach was limited to Australia. After the 1992 season, Hansie Cronje’s South Africa gave a new definition to this approach wherein under the coaching of Bob Woolmer, the team started believing that if you could take a single off every ball, a score of around 300 was easily achievable and that too when a score of ODI game was within the realm of 225 – 250. Those who have a good cricket memory would recall that one of South Africa keenest followers of this approach and a dedicated innings architect for nearly a decade was India’s preset coach, Gary Kirsten. The man literally grew upon the opposition not through magnanimous shots that are played by the likes of Sehewag or Hayden, but through this, singles approach. It seems that the current Indian team is beginning to understand the virtue of this noble approach. For starters, for the first time in probably a decade, the team looks hungry to rotate the strike and their batting appetite is being satiated through taking a boundary but along with preceding and following the boundary shot by placing the ball into gaps and running lots of ones/twos.
I personally believe that this is a direct effect of Kirsten’s presence in the squad. He has somehow managed to appeal to the senses of the boundary-and-sixes hitters in the team that the entire idea is to keep the game moving even if it means sacrificing your ‘glory’ shots and running a lot, for the team’s cause. The result is very evident — batsmen like Gambhir and Sehewag are becoming more comprehensive batters, learning how to mix-up their innings which previously, often bordered on being one-way traffic. The idea was introduced by Greg Chappell also but somehow his much-maligned approach didn’t work with the team.

4 comments:

  1. I don't know much about Kirsten's immediate impact but yes the top-order of the Indian batting does seem to be taking a bit more initiative in taking singles are rotating the strike. I believe that this is a major development since the lack of enterprise in taking quick singles has been hurting the team in the recent past as its stroke-makers seem too dependent on playing the bigs strokes.

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  2. hello...frnd...i am rajesh SINGLA from delhi...can u advertisement of my blog : howstats.blogspot.com ...like recent post...in reverse m ur advertise of ur blog.....my facebook id: www.facebook.com/RajesHSINGLAA or twitter : www.twitter.com/RajeshSINGLA

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  3. I think u guys didn't see the latest in the indian batting, i.e. against the bangladeshis, their inability to play the short-pitched bowling and their reluctance to take quick singles was very evident. Gary Kirsten cannot make such wholesome changes and change the mental make-up of the batsmen...that is something they need to do themselves.

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  4. the only thing that i would like to point out is that the Indian batsmen were a bit relaxed playing on the dead bangladeshi pitches and the fact they were playing a team on the brink of being ousted from test cricket...so their metnal intensity was a big compromised. it would not be fair to comment upon Kirsten's efforts just because some of the batsmen displayed a laidback attitude...this is what separates the aussies. those guys are just unrelenting no matter what kind of team they are facing. india no. 1 test team for long time? i would not bet my life on it

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