Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bounce will always be the trick

This is one advantage that the Aussies, South Africans and the West Indies have on their home soil when they have pitches that can offer uneven bounce. May be that is the reason why bowlers like Curtly Ambrose, Walsh, Ian Bishop, Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming etc happen to be from that side of the cricketing world though there are the likes of Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Chaminda Vass etc who hail from the sub-continent. But, when it comes to bounce, it has to be no other team but the West Indies. Australia and South Africa follow behind.

This time, Sri Lanka are expected to take on South Africa on their home soil in days to come when batsmen like Jayawardane, Sangakkara and Samaraweera happen to face the wrath of Dale Steyn, Morkel and newly joined pacer Vernon Philander who had some splendid performances in the IPL earlier this year in India. On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be missing the services of Lasith Malinga, Chaminda Vass and Nuwan Kulashekara leaving only the somewhat in form pacer Dilhara Fernando to do his bit for Sri Lanka. I wonder whether such a weak outfit from Sri Lanka has even toured South Africa in the last decade?

Problem regarding the teams like South Africa, Australia and West Indies lies in them tackling spin bowling which made their life hell whenever they toured Sri Lanka with Muralitharan there in the team. But, spin has little or absolutely no effect in the pitches of South Africa for Sri Lanka to try their luck. In that case, the presence of Ajantha Mendis would be only to fill in the vacancy so that the team consists of eleven players. Of course, Ajantha Mendis also is not a perfect turner of the ball which forms a different story altogether. But, the fear for spin bowling can be capitalized by Mendis.

In case there happens to be a fear for spin bowling in the minds of the South African batsmen, then may be spinners from Sri Lanka can have a ball which can rarely happen with the South African team well aware that they are the hosts. And, moreover there is no Muralitharan to do miracles with the ball. But, if Dale Steyn happens to have his words come true, then the ball might just hit the highest point of the bat. And, Dale Steyn's words have a greater probability of coming true, given his form and fitness since the past two years or so.

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