Thursday, 20 May 2010

Spinner Pinner's Double-Bouncers

T20 can be a difficult game for crap bowlers. Players with no talent are often exposed and battered, especially spinners. Batsmen have the advantage of switch-hits, dilscoops and being bowled at by Shane Watson. Bowlers have not much they can do, apart from bowl the "slow bouncer" (or "long hop" as it used to be called*). *One point in cricket cliche bingo

Some bowlers could sit and accept that they're going to be belted for 12 an over. But this guy doesn't. Neil Pinner, a plucky Worcestershire second teamer, has been working on a ball that bounces twice. The ball, which he is yet to use in a match, is designed for T20, specifically to stop sixes being hit off it. Bizarrely, this delivery which is normally only seen in under 14 C fixtures would be legal in the MCC rules. If perfected, Pinner hopes to bowl his full 4 overs of off-spin with double-bouncers (that's 48 bounces in total for all maths fans). This would mean batsmen would be forced to nudge and nurdle him about, thus reducing their strike rate and the overall score of the team in the 20 overs. Clever?

Probably, yes. But I think Pinner's bouncing up the wrong tree. Much of England's success in the World T20 was due to tight economical bowling from Swann and Yardy, who picked up key wickets throughout. Pinner won't take any wickets (unless batsmen do stupid things) with this double-bouncers, which surely defeats the object of cricket. Yes, he'll be keeping it tight up his end, but he'll just be letting batsmen get their eyes in to score quickly down the other end. And how much tighter will he even keep it? Batsmen just needs to dob five runs from the first five, with a boundary off the final ball (which shouldn't be too difficult with an inventive player like Eoin Morgan at the crease) for Pinner to have conceded nine runs and looking very ordinary.

While I can see that T20 is clearly a batsman's game, there is still room for good bowlers to excel. I have never seen Neil Pinner (or indeed heard of him before seeing this article), but I'd suggest to him that he spends his net time working on his doosra, line or length, rather than wasting his time on a ball which won't get many rewards.

Fans of Microsoft Paint are amazed with this artist's impression of Pinner's double-bouncers

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