28 April 2012

The Technical Failings of the Younger Generation

There have been a number of young Australian batsmen that have come and gone from the Test scene well before their test tally hits double digits. Chris Rogers wrote an interesting piece regarding the technique of these batsmen.

Here is quick summary of the technical flaws he noted in some of the recently dropped batsmen.

Usman Khawaja - Points his back foot to the bowler rather than to point causing him to be squared up and prone to the away-swinging ball.

Phil Hughes - Swivelling into a front-on position which led him being b. Martin c. Guptil.

Shaun Marsh - Lack of trigger movements hence the reason why he has been labeled a confidence player. When he is down on confidence like he was against the Indians, the lack of footwork meant he was a walking wicket.

Callum Ferguson - Backswing heads towards gully meaning he struggles to play in the 'V' especially when forced to defend.

This is one of the better articles you will find floating around and very rarely do you find an article written by a current player regarding the flaws of their opposition. It does bring about one interesting question of whether opposition states should be sharing these flaws they have found to help the national team.

It is hard to comment on who is at fault for these flaws not being fixed, Khawaja for instance had this flaw during his County stint in 2011 which was carried on to his second tasting of Test cricket. If an opposition can spot these weaknesses, you would hope your batting coach could do likewise.

The final part of Chris Rogers' article talks about how difficult it is for batsmen to adapt between T20 and Test Cricket. This isn't a problem which only plagues the younger batsmen, the older batsmen have also shown a more aggressive streak. Jacques Kallis not known for his quick scoring, blitzed 54 runs from just 41 balls in the 2nd Test against Australia last year. As mentioned by Rogers, it certainly is worth considering finding a batting coach who can convert a batsmen technique from T20 back to Test cricket.

I did find it interesting that the guy whose technique is most like a T20 technique in Steven Smith was given glowing praise by Rogers. With 492 runs at 41 for the season including 86 of NSW total score of 208 against Chris' team, I can see why he gave him a good review. Smith also seems to be adapting well, he had a solid Big Bash series including leading his side to the title and currently is in career best form in the IPL with 220 runs at 37 with a strike rate of 157.

One worrying thing he mentioned was teams splashed out on bowling coaches but not so for batting coaches. I don't know what teams he is referring to but if he is talking about the State teams then that is a worrying sign.

Going by his article, Rogers may well have a future in coaching. I do hope our current coaches have already picked up on these flaws and are looking at rectifying them.

Welcome to The Baggy Green Blog!
Thanks for reading this article written by Sylvester.
To comment on this article, click on the 'Comments' tag at the end of the article.



Ian said...

Awesome info Sylvester. I like that kind of analysis for our emerging players. Thinking of Chris is saying it seems is nailed it and makes it so damn logical. Think about those faults in relation to our players.

With Ferguson it was an observation I made in 2009. Interesting how he ties up Shaun Marsh with confidence (which we all state) to a technical flaw.

Definitely got the goods for a Coaching career. Has the typical player background to go into it.

Anonymous said...

It was a really interesting article. You can point flaws out with all batsmen pretty much though, it really depends on talent and confidence to some extent. Look at Chanderpaul. Any batting coach showing footage of him to a youngster would use his square on starting position as a negative model.

I don't think our young batsmen are that bad. Punter was dropped a couple of times early on as was Clarke and Hayden and the length of time it took Steve Waugh to get going is the stuff of legend.

The big problemm for Aus is that everyone wants - and to some extent, is expecting - another Mike Hussey. Someone to just step in and be up to the mark straight away. But Michael Hussey wasn't Mr Cricket (if you get my meaning) in his early 20s. He had to learn the all-round batting skills he has and that took time and patience.

I don't think we are headed towards dominating cricket again anytime soon. But regardless, we need to be patient with young batsmen. If they have the right stuff, they will eventually show it.


Ian said...

Hi Lou,

Thing with Chanderpaul is that although it looks tacky (same as Simon Katich with the shuffle) it allows him to know where his stumps are. He screws with a bowlers consistency, lures inexperienced bowlers to attack his leg stump (big mistake) but the funniest thing is he becomes completely orthodox once he's aligned and playing his strokes. Brought him 10,000 runs and definitely fascinating.

Everyone gets dropped, everyone goes through bad patches, which you pointed out and thank goodness for that! Many just want instant champs, instant success. Life doesn't work that way, neither does cricket.

Sure, our batting collapses have been bloody frustrating but so many people have zero patience now. The battle for victory takes time now and players will screw up here and there. Every player, but Hussey and Gilly, was dropped from that great team at some stage in their career.

"The big problemm for Aus is that everyone wants - and to some extent, is expecting - another Mike Hussey. Someone to just step in and be up to the mark straight away. But Michael Hussey wasn't Mr Cricket (if you get my meaning) in his early 20s. He had to learn the all-round batting skills he has and that took time and patience"

You nailed it. PATIENCE and stop expecting the next xyz!
I am convinced that although he denies it, Brad Haddin was heavily burdened with filling in for Adam Gilchrist. Unfortunately he changed the role and any Aus keeper will be under pressure. It was unfair expectation.

Best a supporter can do is don't be like the rest of the haters, support our players that get selected and the more they win and the more they discover how to win those key moments as a side, we're on our way back to the top.

This article was good though because it was constructive criticism from a bloke who knows what he's talking about. I also like the players he discussed, especially Ferguson who I still believe has so much to offer our ODI team!

Good to hear from you again, Lou.
My rant is up.

Sylvester said...

It is a worry then that Ferguson still has this flaw as his Test aspirations really are going nowhere right now so it does look like a flaw which he should be fixing. I can understand a flaw just being ignored if the batsmen is still successful like Ponting with his falling over his pad early on but for someone like Ferguson he really does need to fix it.

Agree Lou, most of us come from the era where the depth had guys like Law, Love, Hodge, Dussey, Rogers, Jaques, etc to call upon. Now we really have no one ready to do a Hussey. The big problem is unless Warner and Cowan step up we could be in for a major fall once Ponting and Hussey retires.